Scientific Advisory Board
The National Kidney Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is comprised of leaders within all of NKF’s major medical initiatives, physicians serving on the national board of directors, as well as other individuals appointed at the discretion of the NKF President. Chaired by the President, this leadership group is responsible for directing, and advocating for, the organization’s major medical programs.
Sylvia E. Rosas, MD, MSCE - Chair, NKF President
Dr. Rosas is a nephrologist and epidemiologist at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Ma. She is the Director of the Latino Kidney Clinic and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She also is a nephrologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Her primary research focus is on the epidemiology of metabolic and cardiovascular disease complications in patients with chronic kidney disease particularly diabetic kidney disease. She has also evaluated health disparities in individuals with CKD particularly in those of Hispanic/Latino background.
Dr. Rosas is the clinical center PI in the NIDDK-funded multicenter APOL1 Long-term Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Network (APOLLO) that evaluates the role of the APOL1 gene in kidney transplant outcomes. She is also the PI for the Kidney Precision Medicine Program (KPMP) Chronic Kidney Disease recruitment site at Joslin Diabetes Center. KPMP aims to ethically obtain and evaluate human kidney biopsies in order to create a kidney tissue atlas, define disease subgroups, and identify critical cells, pathways, and targets for novel therapies. She has received numerous awards including the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) of New England Physician of the Year in 2017 and National Hispanic Medical Association Fellow of the Year Award. In addition to being a long-time volunteer for the National Kidney Foundation, she is the president-elect and will begin her term as President in October 2022. On a local level, she has been a member of the medical board of the NKF NE chapter. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and the Advances of Chronic Kidney Disease Journal. Dr. Rosas served as the Chair of the Minority Affairs Committee of the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Dr. Rosas has been the secretary for Women in Nephrology as well as Program Committee Chair for the NIDDK Network for Minority Health Research Investigators.
Kirk Campbell, MD
Dr. Kirk Campbell is the Irene and Dr. Arthur M. Fishberg Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology, Professor of Pharmacological Sciences and Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In addition to caring for patients with kidney disease, he leads a multidisciplinary research program focused on understanding mechanisms of kidney disease progression and clinical trials in the rare kidney disease space. Dr. Campbell is the President-Elect of the National Kidney Foundation. He is a Past-President of the New York Society of Nephrology and a member of the Board of Directors of the Nephcure Foundation. He is the recipient of a Distinguished Leader Award from the American Society of Nephrology and is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of American Journal of Kidney Disease, Kidney360, Kidney International, Frontiers in Medicine and the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology. Dr. Campbell received his medical degree from the University of Connecticut, completed residency at Yale University and clinical nephrology and postdoctoral research training at Mount Sinai.
Matthew Cooper, MD
Matthew Cooper, MD is the Chief of Transplantation, Director of the Solid Organ Transplant Line at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and a Tenured Professor of Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is the Mark B. Adams Distinguished Professor of Surgery. Dr. Cooper seeks new opportunities for living donation through innovation and by removing the disincentives for those considering donation while promoting the safety and long-term care of live organ donors. His clinical interests included kidney and pancreas transplantation; particularly the use of marginal organs and has chaired both an NKF sponsored Task Force to decrease kidney allograft discards and a UNOS-sponsored System Performance Improvement Committee which have led to several exciting projects to potentially bring more patients an opportunity for transplantation. Dr. Cooper is involved in several ongoing clinical research projects primarily with an interest in immunosuppression minimization and tolerance and amelioration of delayed graft function in kidney allografts following ischemic reperfusion injury. He has authored over 240 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 300 abstracts and 12 book chapters. He is regularly invited to speak on a variety of transplant-related topics both nationally and internationally. Dr. Cooper is involved in organ transplantation activities both nationally and internationally. He is the UNOS/OPTN Past President. He is a member of the National Board of Directors for the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and a member of the NKF’s National Transplant Task Force. He has served as the chairman of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) Living Donor, Pancreas and Kidney Committees. He is a past councillor for the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. He is the current President of the AFDT. He is a current board member for the National Kidney Registry, the American Foundation for Donation and Transplantation, the International Pancreas and Islet Cell Transplant Association, and Donate Life America. Dr. Cooper has served as Chair of the American Transplant Congress.
Morgan Grams, MD, MHS, PhD
Dr. Grams is a nephrologist and Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Dr. Grams holds academic degrees from Yale, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins University. She completed an internal medicine residency at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University and a nephrology fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Grams is Director of Nephrology Initiatives for the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium, an 11-million participant, global consortium, and she also maintains active research programs in the metabolomics and genomics of kidney disease as well as drug safety in chronic kidney disease.
Lesley Inker, MD
Dr. Inker is an Associate Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM), an attending physician in the William B. Schwartz, MD Division of Nephrology at Tufts Medical Center (TMC), and scientist at the US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University. Dr. Inker's primary research interests are in kidney function measurement and estimation, alternative endpoints for clinical trials of kidney disease progression, and epidemiology and outcomes related to CKD. Dr. Inker is an investigator on several trials of kidney disease progression. Dr Inker has worked with NKF leadership on improving CKD awareness, including revising the ICD codes related to kidney disease in the United States. Dr. Inker was co-chair of the Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative (KDOQI) committee on the CKD Guidelines, which wrote a commentary on the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) CKD 2012 guidelines. Dr. Inker is the Director of the Kidney and Blood Pressure Center, the Kidney Function Evaluation Center, and for Quality Improvement for the Division of Nephrology at Tufts Medical Center.
Holly Kramer, MD, MPH
Dr. Kramer received her M.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine. After completing a nephrology fellowship at Harvard University Medical School in 2002, Dr. Kramer was jointly appointed to the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, and Department of Public Health Sciences at the Loyola University Medical Center. She became co-director (Dr. Durazo) of the Clinical Research Methods and Epidemiology Program in 2005, developing several courses for the program, and later was the Program Director for the MPH Program in 2009-2013. Dr. Kramer is currently an Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences and Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. Her research interests include the intersection between nutrition, kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. She is the immediate past President of NKF, as well as Vice-Chair of NKF KDOQI Controversies and Commentaries. In 2016, Dr. Kramer was awarded the Garabed Eknoyan award from the National Kidney Foundation.
Eugene Lin, MD
Dr. Lin is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. He is a board-certified nephrologist and health services researcher with a focus on economic policies pertaining to kidney diseases. His main research focus is in cost-effectiveness and assessing the impact of financial incentives on patient outcomes. Currently, he is studying the economic and social determinants of home dialysis drop-out and the appropriateness of 30-day rehospitalizations in patients receiving dialysis. He also has interests in the impact of Medicare policies on the delivery of healthcare by providers and has studied how to optimize chronic disease management, including an investigation on the cost-effectiveness of multi-disciplinary care programs in chronic kidney disease. Recently, he helped the NKF refine its CKD Intercept payment model. He also served as moderator for two of the clinical subcommittees convened by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop episodes of care for the Quality Payment Program (“Acute Kidney Injury Requiring New Inpatient Dialysis” and “Hemodialysis Access Creation”). Eugene received a BS in biology (minor in mathematics) from Stanford University, an MD from Baylor College of Medicine, and completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship training at Stanford University.
Becky Ness, PA-C, MPAS, FNKF
PA Ness is an assistant professor of medicine with the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and clinical nephrology PA for Mayo Clinic Health System SWMN Region. She is the current immediate past chair for the National Kidney Foundation Council of Advanced Practice Providers and a member of the advisory council for the CKD Dashboard project through the MN Department of Health. Her clinical interests include AKI, CKD and dialysis. PA Ness has a passion for educating learners of all disciplines, precepting PA, APRN and medical students along with family practice and pharmacy residents. She is also a guest lecturer for many of the PA programs in her home state of MN as well as for Thrive AP and is a sought after presenter at regional and national CME events. Her research interests include post AKI survivorship and interprofessional diversity within faculty and course directors of continuous professional development CME courses.
Joshua Neumiller, PharmD, CDCES
Josh Neumiller is Vice-Chair and Allen I. White Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacotherapy at Washington State University. Josh is a contributing author for the ADA books Medications for the Treatment of Diabetes and Practical Insulin. Josh is past Editor-in-Chief for the ADA journal Diabetes Spectrum and served as Chairman of the ADA’s Professional Practice Committee from 2018-2019 whose primary responsibility is revising the ADA Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes each year. Josh’s research interests involve the management of diabetes and chronic kidney disease in the home care setting. Josh is an investigator with the Center for Kidney Disease Research, Education and Hope (CURE-CKD) and was a contributing author for the 2022 ADA/KDIGO consensus report on diabetes management in chronic kidney disease. Josh was awarded with the 2016 Albert B. Prescott Pharmacy Leadership Award and was named the 2021 ADCES Diabetes Care & Education Specialist of the Year for his work in diabetes care, research and education.
Paul Palevsky, MD, FNKF
Dr. Palevsky is Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science in the Renal-Electrolyte Division at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is Chief of the Renal Section at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He completed his undergraduate and medical education at Northwestern University followed by internship and residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in nephrology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Palevsky joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989, where he has remained since. Dr. Palevsky's research has primarily focused on acute kidney injury and critical care nephrology. He was the study chair of the VA/NIH Acute Renal Failure Trial Network (ATN) study evaluating intensity of renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury and currently serves as co-chair of the PRESERVE trial, evaluating the comparative effectiveness of saline and bicarbonate and the efficacy of N-acetylcysteine in preventing kidney damage following angiography. Among other clinical trials, Dr. Palevsky was a member of the planning and executive committee of the VA NEPHRON-D study, which compared monotherapy with an angiotensin receptor blocker to combination therapy with both an angiotensin blocker and an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor in slowing progression of diabetic kidney disease and is a member of the steering committees for the EUPHRATES trial, evaluating extracorporeal endotoxin adsorption in severe sepsis. Dr Palevsky has published more than 200 original articles, reviews and book chapters, serves as a deputy editor of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and is section editor for Renal Failure for UpToDate. He is a former member of the board of directors and past chair of the Quality, Safety and Accountability committee of the Renal Physicians Association, and is the vice-chair of the board of directors of Quality Insights Renal Network 4 (ESRD Network 4).
Michael V. Rocco, MD, MS, FACP, FNKF
Dr. Rocco is Professor of Medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He received his MD degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and also served his Internal Medicine residency at Vanderbilt. He completed a nephrology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and received a master's degree in epidemiology at Wake Forest University. He has been on the faculty of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine since 1991 and currently holds the Vardaman M. Buckalew Jr. Chair in Nephrology. He has more than 100 manuscripts and book chapters in the areas of hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, nutrition, chronic renal failure and epidemiology. He has served as the clinical center Principal Investigator at Wake Forest for several NIH trials, including the HEMO Study, the Acute Renal Failure Trial Network (ATN), the Dialysis Access Consortium (DAC) and the Frequent Hemodialysis Network (FHN). In the HEMO Study he served as the Chair of the Nutrition committee and the Vice-Chair of the Outcomes Committee. In the FHN Trial, he is the Clinical Core Consortium PI for the Nocturnal Trial and the Chair of the Outcomes Committee. Dr. Rocco is currently the Chair of the National Kidney Foundation Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI); he served as the Vice-Chair for KDOQI from 2003 - 2007 and was the vice-chair for the NKF KDOQI Hypertension Work Group.
Julia Scialla, MD, MHS, FASN
Dr. Scialla is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Nephrology and Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia (UVA). She trained in Internal Medicine, Nephrology, and Clinical Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At UVA, she serves as the Director of Outcomes Research for a joint program in Medicine and Public Health Sciences and as Director of the Nephrology Clinical Research Center within the Division of Nephrology. Nationally she serves as a Deputy Editor at the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Her research focuses on chronic kidney disease (CKD) epidemiology with an emphasis on cardiovascular and metabolic complications and risk factors for CKD progression.
Alison Steiber, PhD, RDN
Dr. Steiber is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the Chief Science Officer at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. As Chief Science Officer, Dr. Steiber leads the Research, International, and Scientific Affairs team in both research efforts, including conducting nutrition related research, systematic reviews, position statements, and Evidence Based Nutrition Practice Guidelines and the Dietitian Outcomes Registry. Additionally, Dr. Steiber oversees the Academy’s international efforts, standardized language development and resources and supports the research fellowship program. Prior to the Academy, Dr. Steiber was Director of the Coordinated Dietetic Internship. She is an author on dozens of scientific research papers, represents the Academy at key research, scientific and/or policy conferences, is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Kidney Foundation, on the Scientific Advisory Panel for the American Council on Exercise and the Executive Committee for the International Society for Renal Nutrition and Metabolism. Dr. Steiber completed her Dietetic Internship and received her Master of Science in Dietetics at the University of Kansas Medical Center and her Doctorate in Human Nutrition from Michigan State University. In 2021, Dr. Steiber received the Distinguished Health Professions Alumna award from the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS.
Charuhas Thakar, MD
Dr. Thakar received his medical degree from the Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College, University of Pune, India in 1995. He completed an Internal Medicine residency at Bridgeport Hospital, Yale New Haven Health in Bridgeport, CT and a Nephrology fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, OH. Dr. Thakar currently serves as the Director, Division of Nephrology, Kidney C.A.R.E (Clinical Advancement, Research & Education) Program at the University of Cincinnati in OH and Chief of Renal Section at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. Dr. Thakar is an experienced educator, having joined the University of Cincinnati as an Assistant Professor in 2004 and was promoted to Professor of Medicine with Tenure in 2014. He is a nationally recognized for his research related to acute kidney injury and progression of chronic kidney disease. His work has been published in top-tiered peer-reviewed journals, and he has received funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs, NIH and other national foundations. Additionally, he completed an executive education program at Harvard Business School in Managing Healthcare Delivery. He has vast leadership experience in complex healthcare environments, including federal, non-profit, and private sectors.
Sumeska Thavarajah, MD
Dr. Thavarajah is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the division of Nephrology. Much of her work has focused on the development of patient education programs including videos, live classes and patient conferences with a focus on understanding kidney disease, dialysis modalities and transplant options. She has a strong interest in clinical operations. She currently serves as the Medical Director for the JHBMC Nephrology clinic, acute dialysis services at JHBMC, and outpatient dialysis units. Dr. Thavarajah joined the BMC Nephrology editorial board in October 2019 as a Blog Editor for the journal. She has been committed to education and dedicated to bringing community awareness on kidney disease through her work with the National Kidney Foundation serving Maryland and Delaware.
John Kevin Tucker, MD
Dr. J. Kevin Tucker is Vice-President for Education at Mass General Brigham and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also co-director of Harvard Medical School’s Master’s in Clinical Service Operations program. His clinical appointment is at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he focuses on the management of chronic kidney disease patients, hemodialysis patients, and peritoneal dialysis patients. A native of Monroeville, Alabama, Kevin graduated from Birmingham-Southern College and Cornell University Medical College (now Weill Cornell). He then completed internal medicine training at Massachusetts General Hospital and a nephrology fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He remained at UAB on faculty from 1996-2002. During his tenure at UAB, he was recognized as an outstanding teacher with the Department of Medicine Division Teacher Award as well as the Department of Medicine Top Ten Teacher Award. He was the nephrology fellowship program director at UAB from 1999-2002. He returned to Boston in 2002, joining the faculty of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He was named Program Director for the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Massachusetts General Hospital Nephrology Program in 2007 and served in that capacity for ten years. He also served as Chief of Renal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s/Faulkner Hospital from 2013-2020 and as Harvard Medical School’s Faculty Director for Accreditation and MOC in the Department of Postgraduate Medical Education from 2016-2020. Kevin’s interest in peritoneal dialysis led him to found the peritoneal dialysis program at DCI Faulkner, which has grown to about forty patients. The clinic has been recognized for clinical excellence by winning DCI’s Darwin Peterson award on three occasions since its inception. Kevin remains a leading advocate for home dialysis therapies. He volunteers actively with the National Kidney Foundation and has served as chair of the New England chapter’s Medical Advisory Board.
Daniel Weiner, MD, MS
Dr. Weiner is a nephrologist and nephrology clinical researcher with interests in dialysis, cardiovascular disease in kidney disease, and decision-making in advanced kidney disease. He is the national Medical Director of Clinical Research for Dialysis Clinic, Inc., a national not-for-profit dialysis provider. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Kidney Medicine, an official journal of the National Kidney Foundation, and the Primer on Kidney Diseases. He is the recipient of the American Society of Nephrology Midcareer Distinguished Leader Award in 2019 and has been active in kidney disease policy on a national level, including as the prior chair of the American Society of Nephrology Quality Committee.
Kerry Willis, PhD
Joseph Vassalotti, MD
Jessica Joseph, MBA