Research

The Division has a diverse research program that leverages the strengths of the renowned clinical programs and an NIH T32 training grant in basic, translational and clinical research in nephrology. The Division has a long and distinguished history of high-impact research in renal transplantation, and pioneered the use of complete steroid avoidance, demonstrating safety and efficacy in a multicenter clinical trial. Dr. Alexander is Division Chief and Medical Director of the Spectrum Office of Compliance, Training and Operations, the infrastructure hub of Stanford’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA).  He co-directs Spectrum's Intensive Course in Clinical Research: Study Design and Performance, a week-long immersion course for fellows and junior faculty that teaches the basics of clinical research along with the values of team science.  Major active research projects include the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children study (CKiD), the Prospective Pediatric Continuous Renal Replacement Therapies Registry (ppCRRT), the North American Pediatric Renal Trials and Collaborative Studies (NAPRTCS) and the International Pediatric Peritonitis Network (IPPN).  Dr. Alexander was co-founder of NAPRTCS and IPPN.

Dr. Paul Grimm is the Fellowship Program Director, and has conducted basic and clinical research in renal disease. He is the Medical Director of the Cystinosis Clinic, and the Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program.  He is currently the PI of a safety and effectiveness study of cysteamine in patients with cystinosis, and a phase 2 multicenter clinical trial to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and efficacy of belatacept in transplant recipients. Other projects include a collaboration with Mary Leonard to look at the muscle and bone in the Cystinosis patients, a collaboration with the Stem Cell Transplant program to develop a Therapeutic Cytotoxic T Cell product to treat solid organ transplant patients infected with viruses such as BK virus.

One of the most exciting programs is our leadership role in the IROC transplant collective. In collaboration with the leading Pediatric Kidney Transplant programs, (Boston, Emory, UCLA, Seattle, Colorado, Cincinnati) we are developing a ‘Learning Health system’ to share data, modernize and standardize post transplant clinical care and serve as a springboard to bring improvements to kidney transplant patient care immediately in the clinic.

  • Under Dr. Paul Grimm’s leadership, the pediatric nephrology fellows take advantage of multiple research opportunities, including completion of a master’s degree in clinical research, or working in a basic science laboratory with an adult nephrology mentor. 
  • Dr. Scott Sutherland leads our program in electronic medical record-enabled research.  His primary research interest is acute kidney injury and is a co-investigator in the NIH-funded Nephrotoxic-Injury Negated by Just-in-Time Action (NINJA) randomized clinical trial. 
  • Dr. Abanti Chaudhuri leads the Hypertension Clinic and has an active research program on Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring.
  • Dr. Gia Oh leads research on primary glomerular disease and is site PI for a number of studies of glomerular disease and FSGS. She is also our representative to the Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium.
  • Dr. Cynthia Wong leads research on dialysis and chronic kidney disease and is a leading member of the CKiD study.
  • Dr. Mary Leonard joined the Division in 2014 as Associate Dean of Maternal and Child Health Research. After one year she was so appreciated and respected by the faculty that she was chosen as our new Department Chair. She plans to reinvigorate funding and support for fellowship education across the department. Her multidisciplinary research program is primarily focused on the impact of chronic diseases on bone metabolism and nutrition, with an emphasis on changes in body composition and skeletal density and structure during growth, and in the context of chronic kidney disease and glucocorticoid therapy. She has maintained continuous NIH funding for 17 years. She is the Founding Director of the new Stanford Assessment of Bone and Muscle across the Ages (SAMBA) Center. The Center houses state-of-the-art equipment for studies of bone microarchitecture, body composition, and muscle strength.  As evidence of her success as a mentor, she recently renewed her NIDDK K24 award that supports these activities. She also served/serves as the primary mentor on multiple NIH and Foundation career development grants, including 3 F32, 1 K07, and 5 K23 awards. She is also Co-Director of the weekly clinical research in nephrology work-in-progress seminar that is attended by fellows, junior faculty and biostatisticians. 

In summary, the Division has a distinguished record of research and is committed to training the next generation of pediatric nephrology investigators.

 

More information on our Clinical, Translational and Basic Research

Clinical Research