Michelle Winn


Michelle Winn was born in 1966 and raised in Jacksonville, NC. She was a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and received a BS in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1988. She received an MD from the Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, NC in 1992. She completed her Residency in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and her Nephrology Fellowship at Duke.

She joined the Duke faculty in 1999, becoming an Associate Professor of Medicine the Division of Nephrology in 2010. She did her research in the Center for Human Genetics and was a founding faculty member of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute.

She was also Chair of the Department of Medicine Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee, and was a member of the Medical House Staff Selection Committee and the School of Medicine Admissions Executive Committee. In recognition of her efforts to promote diversity, she received the Duke University Blue Ribbon Diversity Award in 2004.

Dr. Winn’s research was focused on the kidney disease known as focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) Her breakthrough came with the publication of her research in Science describing a mutation in the TRPC6 gene causing familial FSGS. Several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are evaluating potential new therapies for glomerular diseases as a direct result of her discovery.

She has been well recognized and honored for this major work including:

  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2007)
  • American Society of Nephrology’s Young Investigator Award (2007)
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation Inductee

Dr. Winn died peacefully July 23, 2014 at home, surrounded by her family after a year-long battle with cancer.

The American Society of Nephrology established the Michelle P. Winn, MD, Endowed Lectureship, with support from a partnership including ASN, Duke University School of Medicine, the Department of Medicine’s Division of Nephrology, and several individuals.


This oral history interview was conducted with Dr. Michelle Winn on November 8, 2010 by Jessica Roseberry.

Interview Transcript