A photo of Charles Varnell Jr.

Charles D. Varnell Jr., MD, MS

  • Pediatric Nephrologist, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
In my practice, I believe that the most important part of caring for children is the relationship between the physician and the family.



I am a pediatric nephrologist who specializes in pediatric kidney transplantation as well as general pediatric nephrology. As a physician who cares for children with chronic medical conditions, I am constantly impressed and humbled by their resilience. Despite hardships they may have encountered in their lives, they remind us they are still children, playful and happy at heart.

In my practice, I believe that the most important part of caring for children is the relationship between the physician and the family. The discussions we have to have can be complicated, and difficult decision need to be made. There is often no clear right or wrong path to follow, which makes having a good therapeutic alliance between the physician and the patient and family very important with regards to the care I am able to provide.

During medical school, I was honored to be selected for membership in Alpha Omega Alpha, which recognizes distinguished academic achievement.

In addition to caring for patients, I’m involved in research. My colleagues and I are studying medication-taking behaviors in children and adolescents with kidney transplants. We seek to create systems of care that help support the patient and their family with taking medications as prescribed and that will lead to the best clinical outcomes.

In my free time, I love to cook for my family. I also enjoy running and cycling, as well as playing video games with my children.

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A Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Adherence Promotion Strategies to Improve Rejection Rates in Adolescent Kidney Transplant Recipients. Varnell, CD; Rich, KL; Modi, AC; Hooper, DK; Eckman, MH. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2022; 80:330-340.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the kidney community: lessons learned and future directions. Geetha, D; Kronbichler, A; Rutter, M; Bajpai, D; Menez, S; Weissenbacher, A; Anand, S; Lin, E; Carlson, N; Sozio, S; et al. Nature Reviews Nephrology. 2022.

COVID-19 in pediatric kidney transplantation: a follow-up report of the Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative. Varnell, C; Harshman, LA; Liu, C; Smith, L; Al-Akash, S; Barletta, GM; Brakeman, P; Chaudhuri, A; Fadakar, P; Galea, L; et al. Pediatric Nephrology. 2022.

Hypervitaminosis A in Pediatric Patients With Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease. Harris, M; Varnell, C; Taylor, V; Nehus, ST; Zhang, B; Erkan, E. Journal of Renal Nutrition. 2022; 32:275-281.

The learning health system for pediatric nephrology: building better systems to improve health. Varnell, CD; Margolis, P; Goebel, J; Hooper, DK. Pediatric Nephrology. 2022.

A Medication Adherence Promotion System to Reduce Late Kidney Allograft Rejection: A Quality Improvement Study. Hooper, DK; Varnell, CD; Rich, K; Carle, A; Huber, J; Mostajabi, F; Dahale, D; Pai, AL H; Goebel, J; Modi, AC. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2022; 79:335-346.

Primary hyperoxaluria diagnosed after kidney transplant: A review of the literature and case report of aggressive renal replacement therapy and lumasiran to prevent allograft loss. Stone, HK; VandenHeuvel, K; Bondoc, A; Flores, FX; Hooper, DK; Varnell, CD. American Journal of Transplantation. 2021; 21:4061-4067.

COVID-19 in pediatric kidney transplantation: The Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative. Varnell, C; Harshman, LA; Smith, L; Liu, C; Chen, S; Al-Akash, S; Barletta, GM; Belsha, C; Brakeman, P; Chaudhuri, A; et al. American Journal of Transplantation. 2021; 21:2740-2748.

Predicting acute rejection in children, adolescents, and young adults with a kidney transplant by assessing barriers to taking medication. Varnell, CD; Rich, KL; Zhang, B; Carle, AC; Pai, AL H; Modi, AC; Hooper, DK. Pediatric Nephrology. 2021; 36:2453-2461.

Bleeding Complications after Pediatric Kidney Biopsy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Varnell, CD; Stone, HK; Welge, JA. Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN. 2019; 14:57-65.

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