Boston’s Dr. Sylvia E. Rosas Named the National Kidney Foundation’s President-Elect

Oct. 19, 2020, New York, NY —The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) national governing Board of Directors has named nephrologist Dr. Sylvia E. Rosas of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston as the president-elect, with a term as president to begin in October 2022.

“I would like to thank the NKF leadership for the opportunity to advocate for the 37 million adults in the U.S. affected by kidney disease,” Dr. Rosas said. “I look forward to working with [NKF] Chief Executive Officer Kevin Longino, the current [NKF] President Dr. Paul Palevsky, and the staff on these exciting times for kidney health and advocacy. The Advancing American Kidney Health initiative will transform nephrology care in our nation, and NKF will be present in order to advocate for our patients and kidney professionals.”

Dr. Rosas is a nephrologist and epidemiologist at the Joslin Diabetes Center, the Director of the Latino Kidney Clinic, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a nephrologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 

“I am thrilled that Dr. Sylvia Rosas is joining the NKF Board as president-elect,” Dr. Palevsky said. “I have known Dr. Rosas for many years and have had the privilege to collaborate with her in ongoing research. She is a passionate advocate for her patients and for all patients with kidney disease. I look forward to her joining the national leadership of the NKF in improving the lives of kidney patients and increasing awareness of kidney disease among the one-third of the adult population who are at risk of developing it,” said Dr. Palevsky, MD, current NKF President.

Dr. Rosas completed her Internal Medicine training at Michael Reese Hospital/University of Illinois at Chicago. She obtained clinical nephrology training and a master’s in clinical epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. She also completed the Wharton Management Program. She has been a nephrologist for 21 years. 

Dr. Rosas’s primary research focus is on the epidemiology of metabolic and cardiovascular disease complications in patients with kidney disease, particularly diabetic kidney disease. She has also evaluated health disparities in individuals with kidney disease, particularly in those of Hispanic or Latino background.  She grew up in Puerto Rico and lived in Bogota, Colombia, as a teenager and medical school student.

“NKF is honored to have Dr. Rosas join the Board of Directors as the President-Elect,” said Anthony E. Tuggle, Chair of the NKF Board of Directors and a kidney transplant recipient. “We are especially fortunate at this time of intersection between kidney disease, the pandemic, and racial inequality in healthcare to have a nephrologist who is also an epidemiologist and diversity advocate, in our leadership. I want to thank Dr. Rosas for giving her talents to NKF in this critical way.”

“During my term as president, I would like to continue to focus on public awareness of kidney disease, particularly, diabetic kidney disease, the most important cause of kidney disease worldwide,” Dr. Rosas said. “I have been an advocate for eliminating barriers to kidney donation as well as reducing organ discards. In addition, there are significant disparities in both who is at risk for developing kidney disease and how treatment is applied. 

“I plan to continue advancing these areas I have been dedicated to my entire career, to support programs that address and find solutions for these health disparities,” she said. “In addition, I will continue to work to increase gender and racial diversity in the healthcare field.”

Dr. Rosas is the clinical center leader 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 leader 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. She has been a long-time volunteer with NKF, including as a member of the NKF Spring Clinical Meetings planning committee, a judge at the Young Investigator Forum, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at NKF. 

On a local level, she has been a member of the medical board of the NKF New England 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.

Dr. Rosas and her family live in Newton, MA, outside of Boston. She is married and has two teen-age children.


Kidney Disease Facts

In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it.  1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabeteshigh blood pressureheart diseaseobesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. Blacks or African Americans are almost 4 times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure.  Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.


About the National Kidney Foundation

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit