Clinical Scientist in Nephrology program

For three decades we have supported clinical research, identifying emerging clinical researchers seeking to advance patient care and providing fellowships to fund their research. The American Kidney Fund's (AKF) Clinical Scientist in Nephrology (CSN) program has funded some of the field's most prominent researchers early in their careers, helping to address the shortage of nephrology researchers.

The Clinical Scientist in Nephrology program strives to improve the quality of care provided to kidney patients and promotes clinical research in nephrology. The program 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.

Scientist researcher writing on wall

2023 Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Fellowship Application

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) is pleased to invite applicants for its Clinical
Scientist in Nephrology (CSN) Fellowship for the academic year 2023.

Learn more about the Clinical Scientist in Nephrology (CSN) Program

For over 30 years, the American Kidney Fund Clinical Scientist in Nephrology (CSN) fellowship program has funded researchers whose work is designed to improve diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for patients living with chronic kidney disease and has promoted clinical research in nephrology. Our CSN fellows conduct prevention and outcomes research while receiving advanced training in essential skills such as medical ethics, biostatistics and epidemiology.

The Clinical Scientist in Nephrology program has trained some of nephrology's brightest scholars who have gone on to become leaders in the field and mentors to new generations of scientists studying kidney disease. Many former CSN fellows have conducted groundbreaking research that advances knowledge and treatment of kidney disease.

A Clinical Scientist in Nephrology fellowship may be granted yearly, with a maximum duration of two years for each fellowship. The maximum level of funding of $80,000 per year shall be used principally to support the candidate and his or her career development. This sum is expected to cover the individual fellow's salary (not to exceed $55,000) as well as training-related expenses.

Meet Our 2022 CSN Fellows

Dr. Jillian Caldwell

Dr. Jillian Caldwell

Jillian Caldwell, DO, is a nephrology fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Caldwell will examine the interplay between immunologic matching in kidney transplants and equitable access to transplantation. While immunologically matched kidney transplants demonstrate better outcomes in terms of patient and kidney survival, racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive fully-matched kidneys, a disparity historically attributed to the genetic makeup of the donor pool. Her project will examine the reasons for this disparity and evaluate alternative kidney allocation strategies that enhance access to well-matched kidney transplants.

Dr. Caldwell's long-term goals include devising better systems, including policy changes, to enhance access and equity in kidney transplantation.

"Kidney transplantation is a way to restore our patients' quality of life and health, and should be accessible to all. However, disparities still exist and many patients' transplants are compromised by systemic barriers to care, such as inability to afford immunosuppression. I am grateful to AKF for this opportunity and hope our work will advance policies that grant all patients equal access to well-matched, successful kidney transplants." 

Dr. Caldwell earned her Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience at McGill University and her medical degree at Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her residency at the University of Illinois-Chicago and is now in a nephrology fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California.

Dr. Janewit Wongboonsin

Dr. Janewit Wongboonsin

Janewit Wongboonsin, MD, MS, is a clinical and research fellow in the Brigham and Women's Hospital-Massachusetts General Hospital Renal Fellowship Program conducting his post-doctoral research at Boston Children's Hospital. He will study the genetic signatures of nephrotic syndrome, a rare disorder with a group of symptoms that indicate a person's kidneys are losing essential proteins in the urine, through an existing electronic health record-linked biobank of 130,000 participants of the Mass General Brigham Biobank. Dr. Wongboonsin hopes to expand the understanding of the prevalence and clinical impact of nephrotic syndrome genetic variants and create a large, genetically mapped cohort of patients that will be valuable for current and future clinical genetic epidemiology studies. These discoveries may also be used to inform a precision medicine approach to kidney disease.

His professional goal is to become an independent investigator in kidney genetics, leading a translational kidney genomics research program.

"Genomic information has shown promise in assisting with diagnosis and management of multiple diseases. Nephrology is starting to integrate the use of genetic information to help our patients. My research aims to understand the impact of genetic forms of nephrotic syndrome on adults with this disease. Doing so will ultimately enable us to use genomic information more effectively to augment the care we provide."

Dr. Wongboonsin earned his medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, in Bangkok, Thailand. After completing his residency, chief residency, and Master of Science in Clinical Research at the University of Minnesota, he is a nephrology fellow in the BWH-MGH Renal Fellowship Program and a research fellow at Boston Children's Hospital.


Meet our previous CSN fellows

For three decades we have supported clinical research, identifying emerging clinical researchers seeking to advance patient care and providing fellowships to fund their research. 

Thank you

The CSN fellowship program is an educational activity that is made in part by a grant from Akebia.

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Help AKF identify and fund the most promising researchers who will advance innovation in kidney disease treatment.