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Internal Medicine - Nephrology

Internal Medicine


Fellowship Research Programs

Research Programs

During their second year of training, fellows spend a minimum of four months conducting clinical or basic research projects. In addition, all trainees are requested to take the Clinical Research course sponsored by the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC).

Clinical Research

Under the direction of a mentor, trainees may initiate their own study or participate in one of the many ongoing clinical studies in the division.  For example, there are currently ongoing studies in the following fields:


  • National registry of renal bone disease: histologic and biochemical data
  • Soft tissue calcification in dialysis patients
  • Correlations between bone mineral density and bone histology
  • Long-term results of parathyroidectomy in ESRD patients
  • Newer phosphate binders
  • Secondary hyperparathyroidism: diagnosis and management
  • Hypotension during dialysis
  • Noninvasive hemodynamic monitoring during dialysis


  • Prograf in chronic rejection
  • Prospective trials of various immunosuppressive regimen
  • Efficacy and safety of newer immunosuppressive drugs
  • The use of extended criteria donors
  • Newer methods for diagnosing acute rejection and predicting outcome
  • Metabolic bone disease in renal transplant patients

Chronic kidney disease:

  • Replacing bone biopsy by noninvasive markers in CKD
  • Identification of CKD patients at risk of bone fracture
  • Markers of bone metabolism and cardiovascular outcome
  • Methods of estimating GFR

Acute Kidney Injury:

  • Early goal-directed therapy in shock and AKI
  • Renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients

Bone and Mineral metabolism:

  • Effect of various novel vitamin D metabolites on renal, bone and other organ functions
  • Racial differences in calcitropic hormones and bone metabolism
  • Osteoporosis


  • Secondary Prevention of Small Subcortical Strokes (SPS3)

Basic Research:

Trainees in Nephrology have the opportunity to acquire substantial experience related to basic research studies. These studies include but are not limited to:

Studies in Kidney and Bone Cell Culture Models:

  • Introduction to cell biology as a tool to promote the understanding of human diseases
  • Gene expression in response to hormonal manipulation
  • Gene expression studies using microarrays
  • Sterile cell culture technique
  • Generation and maintenance of short-term primary cultures and long-term immortalized/ transformed cell culture lines
  • Strategies for the phenotypical characterization of cultured cells
  • Response of specialized cell functions including production of specific proteins to the hormonal manipulation of cells in culture
  • Response of the second messenger systems to hormonal manipulation of cells in culture
  • Introduction to the technology of bench research
  • Radioimmunoassays, conventional gell electrophoresis, Northern and Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, application of principles of enzymology, conventional liquid chromatography, solid phase liquid chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, methodologies for the isolation and purification of proteins, lipids, RNA and DNA.
  • Handling radioactive isotopes
  • Performing a variety of biochemistry measurements
  • Learning the concepts of radioimmunoassay measurement

Studies in Molecular Biology:

  • To examine, at the molecular level, the role of the steroid hormone receptors in gene transcription
  • To familiarize trainees in nephrology with the following basic molecular techniques:
    • Preparation of protein, RNA and DNA for Western, Northern, and Southern blotting
    • Immunohistochemistry
    • Cloning of DNA fragments
    • Affinity chromatography
    • Electrophoretic mobility shift assay
    • DNA footprinting protocols
    • Transient transfection protocols
    • cDNA library screening in yeast
    • Protein expression in insect, yeast and mammalian cells
    • PCR/RT-PCR
    • Quantitative real-time PCR

Studies in Bone Histology, Bone Histomorphometry and Metabolic Bone Disease. Including Renal Osteodystrophy and Osteoporosis:

  • To gain experience in interpretation of histologic slides of bone from patients with metabolic bone disease
  • To learn methods of in situ hybridization using human and animal tissue sections for various cytokines, hormone receptors, and growth factors
  • Involvement in design and conduct of animal studies and evaluating the effects of new therapeutic principles for metabolic bone disease
  • Familiarization with up-to-date methods of obtaining bone samples from patients and animals (i.e., performance of bone biopsies in patients and research animals)
  • Performance of experimental surgery
  • Analysis of research data using computer assisted analysis of clinical data and research results
  • Learning the application of statistical principles to obtain research results
  • Learning the use of image analysis techniques (automated histomorphometry in the evaluation of histologic slides)
  • Measuring bone mineral density using dual photon absorptiometry and bone biomechanics using state of the art hardware
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Page last updated Monday, December 22, 2008