A photo of Donna Claes.

Medical Director, Dialysis, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension

Medical Director, Chronic Kidney Disease Program

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Board Certified

Make an Appointment

"I like to work with patients and families to ensure their child is as healthy as possible, so together, we can "grow them up" to become as healthy an adult as possible despite having severe kidney disease."

About Me


As a pediatric nephrologist, I care for children and adolescents with pediatric chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), with a specific interest in patients with ESKD who require dialysis. I like to work with patients and families to ensure their child is as healthy as possible, so together, we can "grow them up" to become as healthy an adult as possible despite having severe kidney disease.

I was drawn to pursue a career in medicine during my undergraduate college education in pharmacy. There, I learned to appreciate the complexity of the human body. I also recognized the diverse care needs, besides medication therapy, that are required to achieve health. At the end of my pharmacy education, I decided to apply for medical school. It wasn’t until after my pediatric residency that I eventually settled on a career in pediatric nephrology.

I love the diversity of pediatric nephrology. All in one day, I help provide dialysis for some of the sickest children admitted to the hospital. Then, I offer guidance and adjust therapies remotely so other children at home can manage their care needs. Next, I go to the clinic and see relatively healthy children with common nephrological problems.

As the medical director of dialysis at Cincinnati Children’s, my role is to ensure all dialysis patients receive care and get the best dialysis care possible. This involves collaborating with various colleagues across the hospital, which I truly enjoy.

Prior to becoming the director of dialysis, I helped create a standardized care practice system for CKD care for children not yet requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation at Cincinnati Children’s. I designed a standardized care algorithm, used various electronic health record (EHR)-based reports, and then provided leadership to a team of nurses, dietitians and others to implement these care practices.

Through my research, I understand there is still much to learn about the clinical care of the child with chronic kidney disease. Since pediatric kidney disease is relatively rare, it can be challenging to answer clinical care questions as a “single center.” My research goal is to collaborate in multicenter research studies that help answer clinical care questions specifically geared toward the pediatric CKD/ESKD patient.

During my non-doctor time, I drive my two kids to various sporting events or guitar classes. However, my whole family, including my husband and myself, practices martial arts. It’s a fun family experience that I really enjoy. My kids always remind me that they are a higher rank than I am!

Clinical Interests

Pediatric nephrology; chronic kidney disease; dialysis

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Nephrology and Hypertension, End-Stage Renal Disease

My Locations

My Education

MD: University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine, Columbia, MO, 2004.

Residency: Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Sub-specialty Training: Pediatric Nephrology & Hypertension, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Certification: Pediatrics, 2007; Pediatric Nephrology, 2014.

My Publications

Omentectomy reduces the need for peritoneal dialysis catheter revision in children: a study from the Pediatric Nephrology Research Consortium. Schuh, MP; Nehus, E; Liu, C; Ehlayel, A; Clark, S; Chishti, A; Edwards-Richards, AD; Erkan, E; Jernigan, S; Kamel, M; et al. Pediatric Nephrology. 2021.

A comparison of the buttonhole and rope-ladder AVF cannulation techniques and infection rates within the SCOPE collaborative. Morgans, HA; De Souza, HG; Richardson, T; Claes, D; Barton, KT; Lee, M; Mahesh, S; Muff-Luett, M; Swartz, SJ; Neu, A; et al. Pediatric Nephrology. 2021.

Tunneled hemodialysis catheter care practices and blood stream infection rate in children: results from the SCOPE collaborative. Marsenic, O; Rodean, J; Richardson, T; Swartz, S; Claes, D; Day, JC; Warady, B; Neu, A; Improve, SC. Pediatric Nephrology. 2020; 35:135-143.

Using Electronic Health Record Data to Rapidly Identify Children with Glomerular Disease for Clinical Research. Denburg, MR; Razzaghi, H; Bailey, LC; Soranno, DE; Pollack, AH; Dharnidharka, VR; Mitsnefes, MM; Smoyer, WE; Somers, MJ G; Zaritsky, JJ; et al. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. 2019; 30:2427-2435.

Kidney Support in Children using an Ultrafiltration Device: A Multicenter, Retrospective Study. Menon, S; Broderick, J; Munshi, R; Dill, L; DePaoli, B; Fathallah-Shaykh, S; Claes, D; Goldstein, SL; Askenazi, DJ. Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN. 2019; 14:1432-1440.

Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Childhood Glomerular Diseases. Ashoor, IF; Mansfield, SA; O'Shaughnessy, MM; Parekh, RS; Zee, J; Vasylyeva, TL; Kogon, AJ; Sethna, CB; Glenn, DA; Chishti, AS; et al. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2019; 8.

Health-related quality of life in glomerular disease. Canetta, PA; Troost, JP; Mahoney, S; Kogon, AJ; Carlozzi, N; Bartosh, SM; Cai, Y; Davis, TK; Fernandez, H; Fornoni, A; et al. Kidney International. 2019; 95:1209-1224.

CureGN Study Rationale, Design, and Methods: Establishing a Large Prospective Observational Study of Glomerular Disease. Mariani, LH; Bomback, AS; Canetta, PA; Flessner, MF; Helmuth, M; Hladunewich, MA; Hogan, JJ; Kiryluk, K; Nachman, PH; Nast, CC; et al. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2019; 73:218-229.

Case 6: Skin Discoloration, Methemoglobinemia, and Acute Interstitial Nephritis in a 15-year-old Girl. Atreya, MR; Al Jaberi, N; Claes, DJ; Volovelsky, O. Pediatrics in Review. 2017; 38.

Bortezomib in the treatment of antibody-mediated rejection in pediatric kidney transplant recipients: A multicenter Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium study. Kizilbash, S; Claes, D; Ashoor, I; Chen, A; Jandeska, S; Matar, RB; Misurac, J; Sherbotie, J; Twombley, K; Verghese, P. Pediatric Transplantation. 2017; 21.