Mary Helen Foster
Mary Helen Foster

Mary Helen Foster

Professor of Medicine


Research in the Foster Lab focuses on autoimmune glomerulonephritis, a major cause of acute and chronic kidney disease worldwide.

Our experiments explore the origins and regulation of the pathogenic immune  responses that underlie glomerulonephritis, and are designed to: identify tolerance mechanisms that regulate nephritogenic lymphocytes, with an emphasis on B cells and autoantibodies; determine the molecular basis of tolerance; identify defects in immune regulation and the contributions of genetic autoimmune predisposition; and identify environmental disease triggers. These experiments use novel models relevant to immune nephritis in both kidney-restricted and systemic autoimmunity (Goodpasture syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus, respectively), that are amenable to mechanistic dissection using basic immunological, molecular biological, and proteomics approaches. An ultimate goal is to advance novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to improve the lives of patients.


Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine

2019 School of Medicine

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute in the School of Medicine

2000 School of Medicine


M.D. 1982

1982 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Medical Resident, Medicine

1985 University of Virginia

Fellow in Nephrology, Medicine

1989 Tufts University

Publications, Grants & Awards

Offices & Contact

Msrbii Second Floor, Rm 2018
Durham, NC
Duke Box 103015
Durham, NC