Fellows' Research

Current Fellows

Research Mentors: Michelle Estrella, MD MHS; Michael Shlipak, MD MPH
Project: Development of new and diverse measures of kidney health that incorporate tubular and glomerular dimensions of kidney function and applying these measures to study the effects of potentially nephrotoxic drugs and exposures, specifically the effect of long-term NSAID use on the kidney.
Training: Enrolled in master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

Grant Funding:

  • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
  • F32 

Debbie Chen, MD

Research Mentors: Elaine Ku, MD MAS; Mark Pletcher MD MPH; Michael Shlipak MD
Project: The overarching goal of my research is to individualize medical therapies for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). My fellowship project focuses on identifying which patients would benefit versus be harmed by discontinuation of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers as CKD progresses.
Training: Enrolled in master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

Grant Funding:

  • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32

Selected Publications:

  • Weir MR, Chen DC, Ku E. Should renin-angiotensin system blockade be avoided in patients with declining kidney function? Am J Kidney Dis.  2020; S0272-6386(20)30671-5.
  • Chen DC, McCallum W, Sarnak MJ, Ku E. Intensive BP control and eGFR declines: are these events due to hemodynamic effects and are changes reversible? Curr Cardiol Rep. 2020; 22:117.

Research mentor: Delphine Tuot, MDCM MAS
Project: Leveraging large clinical datasets to improve delivery of CKD care, with a particular focus on the application of risk prediction to guide clinical decision making.
Training: Completed master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

Grant Funding:

  • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
  • F32

Selected Publications:

  • Lee J, Chu CD, Guzman D, Fontil V, Velasquez A, Powe NR, Tuot DS. Albuminuria testing by race and ethnicity among patients with hypertension with and without diabetes. Am J Nephrol. 2019; 50:48-54
  • Chu CD, McCulloch CE, Banerjee T, Pavkov ME, Burrows NR, Gillespie BW, Saran R, Shlipak MG, Powe NR, Tuot DS. CKD awareness among U.S. adults by future risk of kidney failure. Am J Kidney Dis. 2020; 76:174-183
  • Chu CD, Tuot DS, Harrison JD, Duong J, Luxenberg A, Khanna RR. Completeness and quality of text paging for subspecialty consult requests. Postgrad Med J. 2020 Aug 20:postgradmedj-2020-137624.

Selected Presentations:

  • Am Soc Neph Kidney Week
  • American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium

John Demko, MD

Research Mentor: David Pearce, MD
Project: We are studying molecular mechanisms of potassium and sodium homeostasis in the kidney. Our lab is currently focused on pathways involving SGK-1, the WNK kinases, and aldosterone signaling in transgenic mice and cell culture models. Globally, I am interested in mechanisms of hypertension, metabolic syndrome, electrolyte homeostasis, and identifying novel therapeutic targets for these disorders.

Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

Grant Funding:

  • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
  • UCSF Molecular Medicine in Nephrology

Selected Publications:

  • Unruh ML, Pankratz VS, Demko JE, Ray EC, Hughey RP, Kleyman TR. Trial of amiloride in type 2 diabetes with proteinuria. Kidney Int Rep. 2017; 2:893-904
  • Ray EC, Miller RG, Demko JE, Costacou T, Kinlough CL, Demko CL, Unruh ML, Orchard TJ, Kleyman TR.  Urinary plasmin(ogen) as a prognostic factor for hypertension. Kidney Int Rep. 2018; 3:1434-1442

Selected Presentations:

  • UCSF Floyd Rector Symposium

Alex Dinh, MD

Research Mentor: Elaine Ku, MD MAS
Project: An individualized approach to identifying risk for serious infections and infection-related kidney outcomes in kidney transplant recipients.
Training: Enrolled in master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

Grant Funding:

  • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32

Selected Publications:

  • Dinh A, Ku E. Pre-transplant dialysis exposure and outcomes after kidney transplantation–where quantity and quality intersect? Am J Transplant. 2020; 20:2301-2302
  • Dinh A, McCulloch CE, Ku E. Predicting long-term kidney allograft outcomes: pitfalls and progress. Kidney Int. In press, 2020

Selected Presentations:

  • Am Soc Neph Kidney Week

Research Mentors: Delphine Tuot, MDCM MAS; Elaine Ku, MD MAS
Project: Identifying opportunities to improve cardiovascular outcomes in kidney transplant recipients.
Training: Enrolled in master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

Grant Funding:

  • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
  • Am Soc Neph fellowship grant

Selected Publications:

  • Fallahzadeh MK, Roozbeh J, Geramizadeh B, Namazi MR. Interleukin-2 serum levels are elevated in patients with uremic pruritus: a novel finding with practical implications. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2011; 26:3338-44
  • Fallahzadeh MK, Dormanesh B, Sagheb MM, Roozbeh J, Vessal Gh, Pakfetrat M, Daneshbod Y, Kamali-Sarvestani E, Lankarani KB. Effect of addition of silymarin to renin-angiotensin system inhibitors on proteinuria in type 2 diabetic patients with overt nephropathy: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Kidney Dis. 2012; 60:896-903
  • Fallahzadeh MK, Jafari L, Roozbeh J, Singh N, Shokouh-Amiri H, Behzadi S, Rais-Jalali GA, Salehipour M, Malekhosseini SA, Sagheb MM. Comparison of health status and quality of life of related versus paid unrelated living kidney donors. Am J Transplant. 2013; 13:3210-4
  • Kwong YD, Liu KD, Hsu RK, Johansen KL, McCulloch CE, Seth D, Fallahzadeh MK, Grimes BA, Ku E. Recovery of kidney function among patients with glomerular disease starting maintenance dialysis. Am J Kidney Dis. 2020: S0272-6386(20)30865-9

Selected Presentations:

  • Am Soc Neph Kidney Week​​​​​

Research Mentor: Kathleen Liu, MD PhD MAS
Project descriptions: Biomarkers and outcomes of acute kidney injury
Training: Completed master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

Grant Funding:

  • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
  • Am Soc Neph fellowship grant
  • F32

Selected Publications:

  • Kwong YT, Stevens LA, Selvin E, Zhang YL, Greene T, Van Lente F, Levey AS, Coresh J. Imprecision of urinary iothalamate clearance as a gold-standard measure of GFR decreases the diagnostic accuracy of kidney function estimating equations. Am J Kidney Dis. 2010;56:39-49
  • Kwong YD, Liu KD. AKI adjudication: do we need it. Nephron. 2017; 137:294-296
  • Kwong YD, Liu KD. Selection of intravenous fluids. Am J Kidney Dis. 2018; 72:900-902
  • Kwong YD, Liu KD. Prediction models for AKI: will they result in improved outcomes for AKI? Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019; 14:488-490
  • Kwong YD, Chen S, Bouajram R, Li F, Matthay MA, Mehta KM, Glidden DV, Liu KD. The value of kinetic glomerular filtration rate estimation on medication dosing in acute kidney injury. PLoS One. 2019; 14:e0225601
  • Kwong YD, Liu KD, Hsu RK, Johansen KL, McCulloch CE, Seth D, Fallahzadeh MK, Grimes BA, Ku E. Recovery of kidney function among patients with glomerular disease starting maintenance dialysis. Am J Kidney Dis. 2020: S0272-6386(20)30865-9

Selected Presentations:

  • Am Soc Neph Kidney Week
  • NKF Northern California

​​​Research Mentor: Jeremy Reiter, MD, PhD
Project: Leveraging genetics to identify mechanisms of chronic kidney disease.
Training: Completed a PhD in immunology at Sloan Kettering/Cornell Medical College

Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

Grant Funding:

  • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
  • UCSF Molecular Medicine in Nephrology

Selected Publications:

  • Loeb GB,* Khan AA,* Canner D, Hiatt JB, Shendure J, Darnell RB, Leslie CS, Rudensky AY. Transcriptome-wide miR-155 binding map reveals widespread noncanonical microRNA targeting. Mol Cell. 2012; 48:760-70 (*equal contributors)
  • Hsin JP,* Lu Y,* Loeb GB,* Leslie CS, Rudensky AY. The effect of cellular context on miR-155-mediated gene regulation in four major immune cell types. Nat Immunol. 2018: 19:1137-1145 (*equal contributors)

 

Recent Research Fellows

      Research Mentor: Kirsten Johansen, MD
      Project: The Dialysis Rx toYield Optimal UltrafilTration (DRYOUT) study was a proposed observational analysis of adult patients with ESRD on hemodialysis to identify which elements of fluid overload, and its subsequent removal on dialysis, serve as the strongest predictors of physical performance.
      Training: Completed master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

      Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

      Grant Funding:

      • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
      • F32

      Selected Publications:

      • Carlos CA, McCulloch CE, Hsu CY, Grimes B, Pavkov ME, Burrows NR, Shahinian VB, Saran R, Powe NR, Johansen KL. Colon cancer screening among patients receiving dialysis in the United States: are we choosing wisely? J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017; 28:2521-2528.
      • Carlos C, Grimes B, Segal M, Johansen K. Predialysis fluid overload and gait speed: a repeated measures analysis among patients on chronic dialysis. Nephrol Dial Transplant. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2020; 35:1027-1031

      Selected Presentations:

      • Am Soc Neph Kidney Week

      Research Mentor: Chi-yuan Hsu, MD, MSc
      Project: Our research centered on studying the risk factors for and the implications of recovery vs. non-recovery from dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury (AKI-D).
      Training: Completed master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

      Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

      Grant Funding:

      • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
      • F32

      Selected Publications:

      • Lee BJ, McCulloch CE, Grimes BA, Chandran S, Allen IR, Delgado C, Hsu CY. Refining the policy for timing of kidney transplant waitlist qualification. Transplantation Direct 2017; 3: e195 
      • Lee BJ, Hsu CY. Acute kidney injury is important in the hospital and afterward.  J Hosp Med. 2017; 12:126-127 
      • Lee BJ, Go AS, Parikh R, Leong TK, Tan TC, Walia S, Hsu RK, Liu KD, Hsu CY. Pre-admission proteinuria impacts risk of non-recovery after dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury. Kidney Int. 2018; 93:968-976  
      • Lee BJ, Hsu CY, Parikh RV, Leong TK, Tan TC, Walia S, Liu KD, Hsu RK, Go AS.  Non-recovery from dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury and short-term mortality and cardiovascular risk: a cohort study. BMC Nephrol. 2018; 19:134  
      • Lee BJ, Johansen KL, McCullouch CE, Hsu CY. Potential impact of Medicare payment policy on misclassification of dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury as ESRD: a national temporal trend analysis. Am J Kidney Dis. 2018; 72:311-313 
      • Ku E, Lee BJ, Wei J, Weir MR. Hypertension in CKD: Core Curriculum 2019. Am J Kidney Dis. 2019; 1:120-131
      • Chen Z, Lee BJ, McCulloch CE, Burrows NR, Heung M, Hsu RK, Pavkov ME, Powe NR, Saran R, Shahinian V, Hsu CY. The relation between dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury and recovery from end-stage renal disease: a national study.  BMC Nephrol 2019; 20:342 
      • Lee BJ, Hsu CY, Parikh R, McCulloch CE, Tan TC, Liu KD, Hsu RK, Pravoverov L, Zheng S, Go AS. Predicting renal recovery after dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury. Kidney Int Rep. 2019; 4:571-581

      Selected Presentations:

      • Am Soc Neph Kidney Week

      Research mentors: Chi-yuan Hsu, MD MSc; Michelle Estrella, MD MHS
      Project description: Epidemiology of CKD in rural Kenya and Uganda. Novel Biomarkers of Kidney injury in the setting of HIV.

      Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

      Grant Funding:

      • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
      • UCSF Dean’s Diversity Award

      Selected Publications:

      • Ascher SB, Scherzer R, Estrella MM, Zhang WR, Muiru AN, Jotwani V, Grunfeld C, Parikh CR, Gustafson D, Young M, Sharma A, Cohen MH, Ng DK, Palella FJ, Witt MD, Ho K, Shlipak MG. Association of urinary biomarkers of kidney injury with estimated GFR decline in HIV-infected individuals following tenofovir disoproxil fumarate initiation. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018; 13:1321-1329
      • Muiru AN, Shlipak MG, Scherzer R, Zhang WR, Ascher SB, Jotwani V, Grunfeld C, Parikh CR, Ng D, Palella FJ, Jr., Ho K, Kassaye S, Sharma A, Cohen M, Wang R, Qi Q, Estrella MM. Kidney disease risk factors associate with urine biomarkers concentrations in HIV-positive persons; a cross-sectional study. BMC Nephrol. 2019; 20:4
      • Zhang WR, Scherzer R, Estrella MM, Ascher SB, Muiru AN, Jotwani V, Grunfeld C, Parikh CR, Gustafson D, Kassaye S, Sharma A, Cohen M, Tien PC, Ng DK, Palella FJ, Jr., Witt MD, Ho K, Shlipak MG. Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate initiation and changes in urinary biomarker concentrations among HIV-infected men and women. AIDS. 2019; 33:723-733
      • Muiru AN, Charlebois ED, Balzer LB, Kwarisiima D, Elly A, Black D, Okiror S, Kabami J, Atukunda M, Snyman K, Petersen M, Kamya M, Havlir D, Estrella MM, Hsu CY. The epidemiology of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in rural East Africa: A population-based study. PLoS One. 2020; 15:e0229649

      Selected Presentations:

      • Am Soc Neph Kidney Week
      • Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

      Research Mentors: Kirsten L. Johansen, MD; Jennifer C. Lai, MD MBA
      Project: Exercise prehabilitation prior to kidney transplantation has the potential to maximize the benefit of transplantation. We need to identify facilitators and barriers to exercise prior to kidney transplantation (e.g., fear of falls, caregiver support, effects of polypharmacy) from the perspective of older patients and their caregivers.
      Training: Completed master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

      Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

      Grant Funding:

      • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
      • Am Kidney Fund fellowship grant
      • F32

      Selected Publications:

      • Kittiskulnam P, Sheshadri A, Johansen KL. Consequences of CKD on functioning. Semin Nephrol. 2016; 36:305-18
      • Sheshadri A, Johansen KL. Prehabilitation for the frail patient approaching ESRD. Semin Nephrol. 2017; 37:159-172
      • Sheshadri A, Kittiskulnam P, Johansen KL. Higher physical activity is associated with less fatigue and insomnia among patients on hemodialysis. Kidney Int Rep. 2018; 4:285-292
      • Kittiskulnam P, Sheshadri A, Johansen KL. Validation of a new physical activity instrument against pedometers among dialysis patients. J Ren Nutr. 2019; 29:498-503
      • Sheshadri A, Kittiskulnam P, Lazar AA, Johansen KL. A walking intervention to increase weekly steps in dialysis patients: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Am J Kidney Dis. 2020; 75:488-496
      • Sheshadri A, Kittiskulnam P, Delgado C, Sudore R, Lai JC, Johansen KL. Association of motivations and barriers on participation and performance in a pedometer-based intervention. 2020; 35:1405-1411
      • Sheshadri A, Kittiskulnam P, Lai, JC, Johansen, KL. Effect of a pedometer-based walking intervention on body composition in patients with ESRD: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Nephrol. 2020; 21:100

      Selected Presentations:

      • Am Soc Neph Kidney Week

      Research Mentors: Michelle Estrella, MD MHS; Michael Shlipak, MD MPH; Salomeh Keyhani, MD MPH
      Project: Population health and value-based strategies to deliver high quality care for patients with kidney disease. Patients with chronic kidney disease have had substantial gaps in chronic disease management and quality of care over the past decade. Medicaid expansion is not associated with improvements in kidney disease awareness or primary care delivery using quasi-experimental research designs.
      Training: Completed master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

      Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

      Grant Funding:

      • UCSF Division of Nephrology T32
      • Am Soc Neph fellowship grant
      • F32

      Selected Publications:

      • Tummalapalli SL, Estrella MM. Predicting risk of kidney disease: is risk-based kidney care on the horizon? JAMA. 2019; 322:2079-81
      • Tummalapalli SL, Peralta CA. Preparing the nephrology workforce for the transformation to value-based kidney care: needs assessment for advancing American kidney health. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019; 14:1802-1804
      • Tummalapalli SL, Peralta CA. An electronic CKD phenotype: a step forward in improving kidney care. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019; 14:1277-1279
      • Tummalapalli SL, Powe NR, Keyhani S. Trends in quality of care for patients with CKD in the United States. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019; 14:1142-1150
      • Tummalapalli SL, Shlipak MG. Hyperfiltration: much ado about nothing? Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019; 14:789-791
      • Tummalapalli SL, Leonard S, Estrella MM, Keyhani S. The effect of medicaid expansion on self-reported kidney disease. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019; 14:1238-1240
      • Tummalapalli SL. Three hours, three days a week. Am J Kidney Dis. 2019; 73:A1
      • Tummalapalli SL, A Chang B, R Goodlev E. Physician practices in against medical advice discharges. J Healthc Qual. 2020; 42:269-277
      • Tummalapalli SL, Keyhani S. Trends in preventative health services for veterans with military coverage compared to non-military coverage. J Gen Intern Med. 2020; 35:1330-1333
      • Tummalapalli SL, Vittinghoff E, Crews DC, Cushman M, Gutiérrez OM, Judd SE, Kramer HJ, Peralta CA, Tuot DS, Shlipak MG, Estrella MM. Chronic kidney disease awareness and longitudinal health outcomes: results from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke study. Am J Nephrol. 2020; 51:463-472
      • Mendu ML, Tummalapalli SL, Lentine KL, Erickson KF, Lew SQ, Liu F, Gould E, Somers M, Garimella PS, O'Neil T, White DL, Meyer R, Bieber SD, Weiner DE. Measuring quality in kidney care: an evaluation of existing quality metrics and approach to facilitating improvements in care delivery. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020; 31:602-614
      • Tummalapalli SL, Keyhani S. Changes in preventative health care after medicaid expansion. Med Care. 2020; 58:549-556

      Selected Presentations:

      • Am Soc Neph Kidney Week
      • AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting

      Research Mentors: Elaine Ku, MD MAS; Kirsten Johansen, MD
      Project: National registry data to identify novel geographic variations and barriers to kidney transplantation.
      Training: Completed master's program in clinical research from UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and was an Editorial Intern for American Journal of Kidney Disease in 2018-19.

      Grant Funding, Selected Publications and Presentations

      Selected Publications:

      • Whelan AM, Ku E. Use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in kidney transplant recipients. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2019; 34:1437-1439
      • Gelfand SL, Khairallah P, Nair D, Whelan AM. The AJKD editorial internship: insights from the inaugural class of editorial interns. Am J Kidney Dis. 2019; 74:287-289

      Selected Presentations:

      • Am Soc Neph Kidney Week
      • American Transplant Congress