The National Kidney Foundation Honors Utah Nephrologist, Researcher with Prestigious Award

(April 5, 2023, New York, NY) — Alfred K. Cheung, MD, a clinical nephrologist and researcher, will receive the National Kidney Foundation’s (NKF) David M. Hume Memorial Award for his high ideals of scholarship and humanism in an outstanding manner in the field of academic nephrology. The award will be presented at the NKF Spring Clinical Meetings in Austin, TX this month.

            Dr. Cheung, the Dialysis Research Foundation Presidential Endowed Chair and Professor of Internal Medicine, Chief of Division of Nephrology & Hypertension, and Vice Chair for Research in Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah cares for general nephrology patients. His research has focused on chronic kidney disease, hemodialysis, vascular access and hypertension.

            “Although I have spent all of my four decades of professional life in academic nephrology striving for excellence, I feel that many of my local and national colleagues have achieved so much more than I have,” Dr. Cheung said. “Therefore, I am very surprised and humbled by this award. I am extremely appreciative of this tremendous honor. Whatever I have accomplished academically, most of the credit belongs to my colleagues who have guided me, supported me, collaborated with me and, most of all, the patients who have inspired me to work and contribute.”

            He has served on multiple committees at NKF, co-chaired the Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative (KDOQI) guidelines on “Cardiovascular Disease in Dialysis Patients” and, more recently, the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guideline update on “Management of Blood Pressure in Chronic Kidney Disease”. Dr. Cheung has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the NKF of Utah and Idaho. He reviews research grant applications for this local chapter. He participated in the NKF community screening program and local fundraising efforts. He gives lectures on kidney disease to non-nephrology healthcare professionals.

            He has also volunteered with the American Society of Nephrology, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and as a counselor in the International Society of Nephrology. He has also been a charter member or ad hoc member of grant review committees for the U.S. National Institutes of Health and other research funding organizations.  He was Interim Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of American Society of Nephrology (JASN) in 2018. 

            “Dr. Cheung is perfectly following in the footsteps of Dr. Hume, and he serves as an example for future clinicians and investigators,” said NKF President Sylvia Rosas, MD, MSCE. “His work on hypertension and his leadership in multiple clinical trials such as SPRINT and Empa-Kidney has advanced our understanding of kidney health which translates into better kidney care for patients today and in the future. I am honored to present Dr. Cheung with this award.”

            “The NKF has given me so many opportunities to serve throughout my career that I wish I had enough space here to describe and express my appreciation,” Dr. Cheung said. “The kidney is a wonderful and incredibly smart organ. Nephrology is the best field of medicine. I encourage all young people entering or considering entering medicine or biomedical research to consider the field of nephrology.”

            Each year NKF considers the work of hundreds of specialists in the field of Nephrology and selects among them those who most exemplify the relentless efforts of NKF to enhance the lives of patients through action, education, and accelerating change. The prestigious awards are presented to the recipients during the annual gathering of clinicians and kidney health professionals at the NKF 2023 Spring Clinical Meetings, which will be held on April 11-15, in Austin, TX.


NKF Spring Clinical Meetings

For the past 31 years, nephrology healthcare professionals from across the country have come to NKF’s Spring Clinical Meetings to learn about the newest developments related to all aspects of nephrology practice; network with colleagues; and present their research findings. The NKF Spring Clinical Meetings are designed for meaningful change in the multidisciplinary healthcare teams’ skills, performance, and patient health outcomes. It is the only conference of its kind that focuses on translating science into practice for the entire healthcare team. 


About Kidney Disease

In the United States, more than 37 million adults are estimated to have kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD)—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it. About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for 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. Black or African American people are about four times as likely as White people to have kidney failure. Hispanics experience kidney failure at about double the rate of White people.


NKF Professional Membership

Healthcare professionals can join NKF to receive access to tools and resources for both patients and professionals, discounts on professional education, and access to a network of thousands of individuals who treat patients with kidney disease. 


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