Prasad Devarajan, MD

Dr. Prasad Devarajan’s research includes a wide spectrum of approaches to kidney health and disease processes, spanning from molecular, genomic and proteomic approaches to human observational and clinical trials. Dr. Devarajan is the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded P50 Center of Excellence in Nephrology, a unique multi-disciplinary research program designed to support basic, translational, and clinical research on critical pediatric kidney diseases that have major unmet needs. The proposal includes several research projects in the areas of acute kidney injury, proteinuric kidney disease, cardio-renal syndromes, and lupus nephritis, with participation from recognized teams of investigators from multiple disciplines. Also included are high-resource gene expression, proteomics, biomarker, enhancement, and training cores with core leaders of international repute. During the first five years of funding, the Center of Excellence yielded 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 15 new grants funded, and eight new patent applications with 4 final patents issued. The center received renewal funding from the NIH this year for another five years. Dr. Devarajan is also the nephrology lead investigator for several NIH-funded prospective clinical studies. He has also established a unique kidney biomarker laboratory which now performs more than 50 distinct assays for acute and chronic kidney disease biomarkers. Dr. Devarajan is also the director and principal investigator (PI) of the NIH T32-funded Nephrology / Hypertension Fellowship. Dr. Devarajan’s research on biomarkers and new therapeutic targets in kidney diseases has yielded over 25 publications and new patent applications during the last fiscal year. He is currently the PI or Co-PI on eight NIH grants.

Mark Mitsnefes, MD MS

Dr. Mark Mitsnefes’ research interest is to define biologic targets for interventions to prevent progression of cardiovascular disease in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD), through epidemiological and translational studies. Dr. Mitsnefes is a co-investigator and co-chair of the cardiovascular subcommittee in the multicenter NIH funded study of chronic kidney disease in children, the CKiD study. In one published study utilizing the CKiD cohort, his group showed that research-based clinic blood pressures taken in a protocol-driven setting are similar to ambulatory blood pressure in the discrimination of blood-pressure related adverse outcomes in children with CKD. In another published study from CKiD cohort, he and his co-authors showed strong dose-dependent associations of higher fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), a bone-derived circulating peptide, with greater risk of left ventricular hypertrophy. These result provided a base for targeting mineral bone metabolism to improve cardiovascular health in children with CKD. Dr. Mitsnefes is also program director for the Schubert Research Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. In this capacity, he is leading the Participant and Clinical Interactions (PCI) core of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) at the University of Cincinnati.

Stuart L. Goldstein, MD

Dr. Stuart Goldstein, MD, FAAP, FNKF, is the director of the Center for Acute Care Nephrology (CACN), and had a very productive research year, with achievements that spanned the scope of the CACN’s research missions. The nephrotoxic medication acute kidney injury (AKI) reduction project, NINJA, which resulted in a five year sustained reduction in AKI, preventing AKI in more than 600 children, has spread to 13 U.S. pediatric centers. This collaborative has already observed sustained decreases in nephrotoxic medication exposure and associated AKI and based on these results, implementation began in the 140 pediatric hospital Solutions for Patient Safety Collaborative. The CACN reported the performance of the renal angina index the “Assessment of Worldwide AKI, Renal Angina and Epidemiology in Children (AWARE)” study in The Lancet. The CACN successfully integrated its real-time AKI risk stratification system, the renal angina index (RAI), to guide novel AKI biomarker testing in critically ill patients in the PICU and funded by Dr. Devarajan’s P50 Center of Excellence grant to use the RAI/NGAL data in real time to drive clinical decision support. The CACN pioneered applications of specialized techniques such as aquapheresis and the Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System for liver support. The CACN also launched an LDL-apheresis program to treat patients with refractory FSGS. The CACN remains only single center in the US to offer all of these specialized novel extracorporeal techniques. In addition, the CACN demonstrated unparalleled commitment to education via the CRRT University Simulation course, offered to more than 400 RNs and MDs from all over the world, and we hosted our first course to train educators from Brazil and Mexico on our methodology.