A photo of Charles Varnell Jr.

Pediatric Nephrologist, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Board Certified

Make an Appointment

"In my practice, I believe that the most important part of caring for children is the relationship between the physician and the family."

About Me


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.

Clinical Interests

General pediatric nephrology; pediatric kidney transplantation

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Nephrology and Hypertension, Kidney Transplant Program

My Locations

My Education

MD: Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, 2011.

Residency: General Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2014.

Chief Residency: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2015.

MS: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2018.

Fellowship: Pediatric Nephrology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2018; Quality Scholars Program in Healthcare Transformation, James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2019.

My Publications

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. 2021.

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.

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.

Predicting Health Care Utilization and Charges Using a Risk Score for Poor Adherence in Pediatric Kidney Transplant Recipients. Rich, KL; Modi, AC; Mara, C; Pai, AL H; Varnell, CD; Turnier, L; Huber, J; Hooper, DK. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology. 2018; 6:107-116.

Case 6: An Infant Presenting with Hematuria and Pallor. Riney, LC; Treasure, JD; Jr, VC D; Depinet, H. Pediatrics in Review. 2018; 39:98-99.

Assessing barriers to adherence in routine clinical care for pediatric kidney transplant patients. Jr, VC D; Rich, KL; Nichols, M; Dahale, D; Goebel, JW; Pai, AL H; Hooper, DK; Modi, AC. Pediatric Transplantation. 2017; 21.

Mycophenolate mofetil-related leukopenia in children and young adults following kidney transplantation: Influence of genes and drugs. Varnell, CD; Fukuda, T; Kirby, CL; Martin, LJ; Warshaw, BL; Patel, HP; Chand, DH; Barletta, G; Van Why, SK; VanDeVoorde, RG; et al. Pediatric Transplantation. 2017; 21.

Impact of Near Real-Time Urine Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin Assessment on Clinical Practice. Jr, VC D; Goldstein, SL; Devarajan, P; Basu, RK. Kidney International Reports. 2017; 2:1243-1249.

Primary cilia regulate the osmotic stress response of renal epithelial cells through TRPM3. Siroky, BJ; Kleene, NK; Kleene, SJ; Jr, VC D; Comer, RG; Liu, J; Lu, L; Pachciarz, NW; Bissler, JJ; Dixon, BP. American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology. 2017; 312:F791-F805.