Make a Difference: Invest in Emory’s Center for the Study of Kidney Diseases

kidneys2Kidney disease is the fourth-highest cause of death in the United States, and its disproportionate incidence in African-American patients calls for a swift and intensive effort to make advances. Despite the fact that African Americans represent only 12 percent of the U.S. population, 30 percent of individuals with end-stage kidney disease are African-American.

Emory is ideally positioned for a center to investigate kidney disease in African Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), kidney disease is an epidemic in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Emory’s Division of Renal Medicine has a longstanding commitment to providing care to patients in Atlanta, many of whom are African Americans who had limited access to health care prior to losing their kidney function. In addition, Emory has three dialysis units and a team of nationally renowned investigators:

  • Tony Guasch is a national leader in clinical studies of sickle cell glomerulopathy.
  • David Archer has developed a mouse model of sickle cell anemia that can be used for basic studies into sickle cell glomerulopathy.
  • Guasch and Archer, in collaboration with Drs. Jeff Sands and Janet Klein, have performed studies using these mice to examine the mechanism for the urine-concentrating defect that occurs in people with sickle cell anemia.
  • Janice Lea led the Emory site for the African-American Study of Kidney Disease (AASK), a multi-center study funded by the NIH. Dr. Lea has also led the Atlanta site for the NIH’s National Kidney Disease Education Program.
  • Jason Cobb is leading a program funded by the American Society of Nephrology that involves screening for kidney disease.
  • Bill McClellan, Stephen Pastan, Laura Plantinga, Titi Ilori, and Rachel Patzer are actively pursuing studies of kidney disease epidemiology and health care disparities, focusing on barriers to kidney transplantation for African-American patients with end-stage renal disease.
  • Fred Rahbari is a leader in the study of polycystic kidney disease and hypertension in patients with kidney disease.
  • Jeanie Park is studying derangements of neurovascular control in patients at high cardiovascular risk, particularly those with hypertension, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and stress disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Charles O’Neill studies the underlying causes of increased vascular calcification in patients with CKD.

A multidisciplinary center would bring these investigators together to advance knowledge and treatment of kidney disease, including studies into basic mechanisms; clinical studies; and epidemiologic, outcomes, and health disparities research. With this center, we hope to advance the field of nephrology and to improve the lives of the patients we are privileged to serve.

We hope you’ll consider making a donation to the Center for the Study of Kidney Diseases at Emory. Your generosity could support cutting-edge research, help shape tomorrow’s health care services, and help find the answers to end the suffering of millions of Americans afflicted with this disease.

Invest in Renal Medicine at Emory

To learn about more opportunities to give, please contact our development officer, Steven Wagner, at or 404-727-9110.

About the Author

Emory Department of Medicine
Emory Department of Medicine
The Emory University Department of Medicine, within the Emory University School of Medicine, is steeped in a rich tradition of excellence. Through the work of its nine divisions and numerous centers and institutes, the department has pioneered discoveries in medicine, education, scientific and clinical investigation, and clinical care. Emory University School of Medicine's medical school, residency, transitional-year, and fellowship programs offer students the latest knowledge in treatment practices, scientific theories, research, and patient care. The Emory University Department of Medicine is a component of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University, which includes the Emory schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare.