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Previous Award Recipients

The goal of the American Kidney Fund’s CSN Program is to improve the quality of care provided to kidney patients and to promote clinical research in nephrology. This goal is achieved by enhancing the training of nephrologists who wish to pursue an academic career and whose primary professional commitment is to scholarship in the provision of patient care. Awardees conduct prevention and outcomes research and receive advanced training in essential skills such as medical ethics, biostatistics and epidemiology.

Sagar Nigwekar, M.D.

Awarded the American Kidney Fund-Sanofi Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Fellowship, Dr. Nigwekar is a clinical and research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Nigwekar’s research will examine calciphylaxis and the role of vitamin D analogues and evaluation of serum biomarker.
Year Fellowship Awarded: 2012

Margaret Yu, M.D.

Awarded the American Kidney Fund-Sanofi Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Fellowship, Dr. Yu is a nephrology fellow at the University of Washington. Dr. Yu’s research will examine the gender differences in chronic kidney disease prevalence, risk factors and progression in an outpatient diabetic population.
Year Fellowship Awarded: 2012

Katherine Lynch, M.D.

Awarded the American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Fellowship, Dr. Lynch is a nephrology fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Lynch’s research will examine the clinical effectiveness of common interventions aimed at mitigating intradialytic hypotension.
Year Fellowship Awarded: 2012

Graham Abra, M.D. (2011-2013)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scholar at Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Abra’s project will focus on the design of an electronic health record-based intervention, using alerts for physicians, pharmacists and nurses for medications in need of adjustment in patients with hospital-acquired acute kidney injuries (AKI). Pre- and post-intervention response times to medication adjustment, adverse drug events, length of stay and risk-adjusted cost in patients with hospital acquired AKI will be evaluated in order to learn process improvement through electronic health record order set design, multidisciplinary committee work and intervention analysis.

Ernest Mandel, M.D. (2011-2013)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School’s Channing Laboratory, Dr. 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.

Jamie Green, M.D. (2010-2012)

As an American Kidney Fund-Genzyme Clinical Scholar from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Green’s research examined the association of health literacy with clinical outcomes in the hemodialysis patients. Her study assessed the association of health literacy with dialysis treatment adherence in patients receiving in-center hemodialysis. Dr. Green is currently a Clinical Investigator in the Nephrology Division at Geisinger Medical Center, a large integrated health system, in Danville, PA.

Jenny Shen, M.D. (2010-2012)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen CSN Clinical Scholar at Stanford University, Dr. Shen’s research, entitled “Risks and Benefits of Heparin Use in Maintenance Hemodialysis” determined the associations among heparin dose and the risks of important clinical events. Her study also described patterns and correlates of heparin use in patients receiving maintenance hemodialysis at the facilities of a national provider of dialysis services. Dr. Shen is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Nephrology in Stanford University’s Division of Nephrology.

Delphine Tuot, M.D. (2010-2011)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen CSN Clinical Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Tuot’s research determined whether patient awareness of CKD is associated with greater application of evidence-based medical regimens in a nationally representative sample. Additionally, her study sought to determine concordance between physician recognition and patient awareness of CKD in clinical settings with diverse patients in the San Francisco Bay area. Dr. Tuot is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Julie Wright-Nunes, M.D. (2009-2011)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen CSN Clinical Scholar at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr. Wright’s research, entitled “Facilitating Physician Delivered CKD Patient Education” evaluated the impact of low literacy materials used by nephrologists while delivering patient CKD education and care. Dr. Wright-Nunes is a Clinical Lecturer in the nephrology division of the University of Michigan’s Department of Internal Medicine.

Nisha Bansal, M.D. (2008-2010)

As an American Kidney Fund-Genzyme Clinical Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Bansal’s research focused on the impact of CKD on the clinical presentation of coronary artery disease. Additionally, her study examined the role of CKD-specific risk factors and medication use on the presentation of coronary artery disease. Dr. Bansal is Assistant Adjunct Professor in the University of California, San Francisco’s Department of Medicine.

Tamara Isakova, M.D. (2008-2010)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen CSN Clinical Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Isakova’s research, entitled “Postprandial Hypocalcemia in Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in Early Chronic Kidney Disease” sought to enhance understanding of postprandial calcium and parathyroid metabolism and how to normalize these in early CKD. Dr. Isakova is an Assistant Professor in Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Carmen Peralta, M.D. (2007-2008)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Peralta's research examined the roles that individual genetic ancestry and socioeconomic status play in chronic kidney disease, and how these factors impact the progression to end stage renal disease. In July 2008, Dr. Peralta is an Assistant Professor in the nephrology division at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

Tammy Brady, M.D., M.H.S. (2006-2008)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scholar from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Brady investigated whether an automated computerized algorithm increased the recognition of elevated blood pressures in an urban primary pediatric clinic setting. Dr. Brady also worked to identify the modifiable risk factors associated with poor physician recognition of elevated blood pressures during well-child visits and determine the prevalence of hypertension in the stated population over a twelve month period. She was awarded Best Clinical Abstract at the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology annual meeting in 2007 for her work on this project. In July 2008, Dr. Brady joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Nephrology.

Orlando Gutierrez, M.D., M.M.Sc. (2006-2008)

As an American Kidney Fund-GENZYME Clinical Scholar from Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Gutierrez examined novel connections between disorders of phosphorus metabolism and cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease. In addition, Dr. Gutierrez examined racial differences in phosphorus metabolism in healthy patients and in those with chronic kidney disease. Dr. Gutierrez was named the 2008 Valedictorian of the Scholars in Clinical Science Program at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gutierrez is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health.

Jeffrey Fadrowski, M.D., M.H.S.(2005)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scholar at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Fadrowski examined the type of vascular access in a cohort of pediatric hemodialysis patients and the relationship between the type of vascular access and the frequency of infection and hospitalization. In late 2005, Dr. Fadrowski joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and was awarded NIH's K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award and the National Kidney Foundation's Young Investigator Grant Award.

Krista Lentine, M.D., M.S. (2004-2005)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at Washington University School of Medicine in Missouri, Dr. Lentine explored registry data from the USRDS, OPTN and Medicare to investigate the risk, predictors and outcomes of cardiovascular disease events after kidney transplantation. During her CSN fellowship she completed a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology degree from Stanford University. Since completing her CSN fellowship, she has earned a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Award for Clinical Research and a five-year Career Development (K-series) Award from the NIH National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Diseases for her active interests in the cardiovascular complications of kidney disease. Dr. Lentine is an Associate Professor of Medicine with tenure at Saint Louis University, with joint appointments to Internal Medicine/Nephrology Division and to the Saint Louis University Center for Outcomes Research.

Eric Taylor, M.D. (2004-2006)

As an American Kidney Fund-Genzyme Clinical Scholar at the Brigham and Women's Hospital of Massachusetts, Dr. Taylor evaluated novel risk factors for kidney stone formation. During his fellowship, he completed his Masters of Science in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Taylor is now an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a faculty member of the Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, MA. He also is an attending physician in the Department of Nephrology and Transplantation at Maine Medical Center, in Portland, ME.

Yoshio Hall, M.D., M.S. (2003-2005)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Hall investigated processes and outcomes of care among Asian and Pacific Islander Americans with ESRD. During his fellowship, Dr. Hall completed the UCSF Advanced Training in Clinical Research Program and later received a  Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Washington’s School of Public Health. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Division of Nephrology and a Core Investigator at the Kidney Research Institute of the University of Washington.

Karen Smirnakis, M.D., Ph.D. (2003- 2005)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Smirnakis’ research interests focused on the prevention of end-stage renal disease by early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes mellitus. Her project examined postpartum screening for diabetes among women with a history of gestational diabetes. Dr. Smirnakis completed a Masters of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She is currently working at Amgen as a Medical Director.

Manjula Kurella Tamura, M.D., M.P.H. (2002-2004)

As an American Kidney Fund-Genzyme Clinical Scholar at the University of California San Francisco, Dr. Kurella Tamura focused on the impact of chronic kidney disease in the elderly. Her proposal focused on cognitive function in elderly patients with advanced renal failure. Dr. Kurella Tamura received a Master of Public Health degree from University of California, Berkeley. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at Stanford University and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Geriatric Research and Education Clinical Center.

Jeffrey Rubel, M.D. (2001-2003) 

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scholar at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Rubel evaluated the effectiveness of established guidelines for treating and preventing coronary artery disease, and the ability of health care providers to successfully implement these strategies. Dr. Rubel completed a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is now Chief of Nephrology at Northeast Health System near Boston, Massachusetts. He is the medical director for the inpatient dialysis and apheresis programs there, and is the Director of Medical Education for the hospital system.

Holly J. Kramer, M.D., M.P.H. (2000- 2002) 

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Kramer conducted what may be the first study to investigate the effects of hormone replacement therapy on morbidity and mortality in post-menopausal women with ESRD. Also during her CSN fellowship, Dr. Kramer completed a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Kramer joined the faculty at Loyola Medical Center in 2002 with a joint appointment in the Department of Preventive Medicine and in the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension.

Preston S. Klassen, M.D., M.H.S. (2000-2001)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at Duke University, Dr. Klassen conducted an in-depth study of the relationship between blood pressure and clinical outcomes in dialysis patients. Dr. Klassen had the unique opportunity to spend part of his fellowship at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Baltimore, Maryland. Also during his fellowship, Dr. Klassen completed the requirements for a Master of Health Science degree at the Duke University Clinical Research Training Program. Dr. Klassen was previously on the faculty of Duke University Medical Center and is now Senior Vice President of Global Management at Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.

Liam Casserly, M.D., M.Sc. (1999-2001)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scholar at Boston Medical Center, Dr. Casserly conducted a study of hypertensive heart disease among ESRD patients and completed a Master of Science degree in epidemiology and biostatistics at Boston University’s School of Public Health. He is now an academic nephrologist in Ireland.

Chi-Yuan Hsu, M.D., M.Sc. (1998-2000)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital and later at the University of California, San Francisco, he completed a study of the risk factors for chronic renal insufficiency. During his fellowship Dr. Hsu also earned a Master of Science in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Hsu became Chief of the Division of Nephrology at UCSF in 2008 and he was promoted to Professor in 2009.

Rulan S. Parekh, M.D., M.Sc. (1997-1999)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Dr. Parekh conducted a study of cardiovascular mortality in children with ESRD. She also completed a Master of Public Health degree, with a concentration in biostatistics and clinical research. Dr. Parekh is the staff nephrologist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Parekh is a Trustee of the American Kidney Fund and is the Chair of the CSN committee.

Lynda Szczech, M.D., M.S.C.E. (1996-1997)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dr. Szczech studied the impact of post-transplant antibody therapy on kidney transplant survival. Dr. Szczech is currently associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center in the Division of Nephrology.

Ravi Thadhani, M.D., M.P.H. (1995-1998)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Thadhani conducted research on pregnancy-related kidney disease and earned a Master in Public Health degree. Dr. Thadhani is the Director of Clinical Research in Nephrology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

David M. Kates, M.D., M.H.Sc. (1994-1996):

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Fellow at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Dr. Kates studied cardiovascular disease in ESRD patients. Dr. Kates is the Director of the Renal Program at Kelowna General Hospital, and the Director of the Regional Transplant Program. He is also on the Faculty at the University of British Columbia Southern Medical Program.

Glenn M. Chertow, M.D., M.P.H. (1993-1995)

As an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scholar at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Chertow conducted research on nutrition and kidney disease and earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Chertow is currently Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Nephrology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford, Dr. Chertow served with distinction on the faculties at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (1995-98) and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) (1998-2007). Dr. Chertow has established a successful career as a clinical investigator and continues to maintain a productive research program focused on improving care for persons with acute and chronic kidney disease. He was Vice Chair and member of two workgroups for the Kidney Disease Quality Outcomes Initiative (K/DOQI) and Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Dr. Chertow serves on the CSN Committee.

David A. Roth, M.D., M.S.C.E. (1992-1994)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Roth conducted research on renal disease among African Americans and earned a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology degree. He subsequently served on the faculty at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Roth currently is Group Director of Clinical Development at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals in Philadelphia, PA.

Rebecca L. Hegeman, M.D., M.P.H. (1991-1993)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar, Dr. Hegeman researched renal failure in transplantation and completed classes required for a Master of Public Health. Dr. Hegeman is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City. She was the Medical Director of the Dialysis Program at the University of Iowa from 2003 to 2007 and is currently the Vice Chair of Clinical Programs for the Department of Internal Medicine.

Gary C. Curhan, M.D., Sc.D. (1990-1992)

As a Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar, Dr. Curhan conducted studies focusing on kidney stones. This research has served as the foundation for the ground-breaking kidney stone research that Dr. Curhan currently pursues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Curhan is a Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School. Dr. Curhan recently became the Editor-in-Chief of a leading nephrology journal, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Rhonda B. Rubin, M.D. (1989-1991)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, Dr. Rubin studied the impact and special needs of AIDS and HIV infected patients in dialysis units. Dr. Rubin is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York. Dr. Rubin currently works at Westchester Health medical group in Valhalla, NY.

Stephen R. Smith, M.D., M.H.S. (1989-1991)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at Duke University School of Medicine, Dr. Smith studied the effects of potassium chloride supplementation on blood pressure among elderly patients. Dr. Smith joined the Duke University faculty and became Medical Director of the Kidney Transplant Program in 1993 and Training Program Director for the Nephrology Fellowship in 2005.

Maria E. Ferris, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. (1989-1991)

As an American Kidney Fund Clinical Scholar at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Ferris studied congenital renal and urinary tract conditions. Dr. Ferris is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Ferris has also founded the UNC Health Care Transition Program. She is a pediatric nephrologist and epidemiologist who also directs the Pediatric Renal Replacement Therapy Programs.

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