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Media Contact:
Tenee Hawkins

Dr. Graham Abra and Dr. Ernest Mandel Named
2011 Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Fellows by American Kidney Fund

ROCKVILLE, Md. (May 17, 2011)Dr. Graham Abra, a nephrology fellow at the Stanford University Medical Center, and Dr. Ernest Mandel, a research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have been named Clinical Scientist in Nephrology (CSN) fellows by the American Kidney Fund (AKF) effective July 1, 2011.
Abra’s research will seek to design an electronic medical record (EMR)-based intervention, using alerts for physicians, pharmacists and nurses, to improve the care of hospitalized patients with acute kidney injury. Mandel will examine the role of diet in acid-base balance and the development and progression of chronic diseases, with a focus on developing preventive strategies to lessen their disease burden.

The CSN program strives to improve the quality of care provided to kidney patients and promotes clinical research in nephrology. It enhances the training of nephrologists who want to pursue an academic career and whose primary professional commitment is to scholarship in the provision of patient care.
“As a clinician, I strive to deliver outstanding personalized patient care to individuals with kidney disease,” said Abra, whose fellowship will be funded under a grant from Amgen. “I hope to drive process improvement in how renal care is delivered through a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach in an academic setting.”

“By filling in some of the gaps in our understanding of the accumulation of acid in the body and its effect on chronic diseases, we expect to identify modifiable dietary risk factors for chronic diseases with potentially profound public health implications,” Mandel said.
Abra graduated summa cum laude from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and received his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical School.  After completing his residency in internal medicine at UCSD, he served as chief medical resident there. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and will complete his fellowship in nephrology at Stanford University Medical Center‘s Adult Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program in May 2013.

Mandel graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He received his medical degree cum laude from Yale and served as chief resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Mandel joined the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital Joint Nephrology Program in 2009. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is pursuing a master’s degree in epidemiology at Harvard’s School of Public Health.

“Since the creation of the Clinical Scientist in Nephrology fellowship in 1988, the American Kidney Fund has sponsored 29 clinicians with one overarching goal: improving the care and treatment of patients with kidney disease,” said LaVarne A. Burton, President and CEO of the American Kidney Fund.  “We believe the work of Dr. Abra and Dr. Mandel will have broad application in hospital care for kidney patients and the prevention of chronic diseases.”

Abra and Mandel will begin their CSN fellowships at the expiration of that of Dr. Julie Wright of Vanderbilt University, who concludes her two-year fellowship on June 30. During her CSN fellowship, Wright evaluated the impact of low literacy materials used by nephrologists while delivering patient chronic kidney disease (CKD) education and care. Her article, “Development and Results of a Kidney Disease Knowledge Survey Given to Patients With CKD,” was published in the March 2011 American Journal of Kidney Disease.

For more information about the American Kidney Fund and the CSN program, visit

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund fights kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, health education and prevention efforts. It leads the nation in charitable assistance to dialysis patients: last year, 101,000 people—1 out of every 4 U.S. dialysis patients—received assistance from the American Kidney Fund for health insurance premiums and other treatment-related expenses. The American Kidney Fund also fights kidney disease through public awareness campaigns, free health screenings, health education materials and courses, online outreach, and toll-free health information HelpLine (866-300-2900). For more information, visit

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