Dr. Mary B. Leonard to Receive NKF’s Seldin Award

Dr. Mary B. Leonard

(Feb. 12, 2024, New York, NY) — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is proud to announce that Mary B. Leonard, MD, MSCE will be honored with the Donald W. Seldin Award. This award was established to recognize excellence in clinical nephrology in the tradition of one of the foremost teachers and researchers in the field, Dr. Donald W. Seldin. Dr. Leonard will be presented with this award during the NKF 2024 Spring Clinical Meetings (SCM) in Long Beach, CA, in May.

"I’m deeply honored to receive the prestigious Donald W. Seldin Award from the National Kidney Foundation,” said Dr. Leonard. "As a pediatric nephrologist, I’ve seen first-hand the toll of chronic kidney disease (CKD) on children and their families, so this recognition is a testament to the collaborative efforts of the incredible teams and mentors who have supported and inspired me throughout my career. I’m grateful to the NKF for recognizing the unique needs of pediatric CKD patients, which further fuels my commitment to advancing the understanding of kidney health and enhancing the lives of those affected by kidney-related conditions."

Dr. Leonard is the Arline and Pete Harman Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University, Director of the Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute, and Physician-in-Chief of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, which stands as a beacon of excellence in pediatric nephrology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Northwestern University, a medical degree from Stanford University, and completed her pediatrics residency, and nephrology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Leonard also obtained a master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. As a Department Chair at Stanford, she established an Office of Child Health Equity and built out infrastructure to address health disparities for children with chronic diseases, including children with CKD.

Dr. Leonard's significant impact extends beyond her administrative roles with a majority of her efforts focused on clinical and translational research as well as mentoring junior physician-scientists. Her multidisciplinary research program focused on the intricate relationship between CKD and skeletal health where she explores CKD's effects on skeletal development, body composition, bone strength, and physical function. She was the private investigator of six National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Project (R01) grants and has guided numerous physician-scientists through the NIH K (career development) and F (fellowship) awards. She has also published over 200 peer-reviewed papers.

Notably, Dr. Leonard has played pivotal roles in national initiatives, serving as a member of the NKF KDOQI Bone Disease Pediatric Working Group, the NKF Scientific Advisory Board, and the NKF CKD in Children Working Group. She also contributed as Co-Chair of the KDIGO CKD-MBD Committee and served as President of the American Pediatric Society.

“Dr. Leonard is a dedicated educator and outstanding mentor with an unwavering devotion to preparing the next generation of junior physician-scientists in clinical and translational research,” said NKF President Sylvia Rosas, MD, MSCE. “Her passion for working and serving the pediatric CKD community while also providing mentorship to numerous junior physician-scientists sets a meaningful standard for those selected to receive the esteemed Seldin Award. She is also working on finding solutions to workforce issues in pediatric nephrology as well as improving health equity for children with chronic diseases.”

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 2024 Spring Clinical Meetings, which will be held from May 14-18 in Long Beach, CA.

“I have been deeply inspired by the NKF community of servant leaders, so it is a true honor to be recognized with this award,” Dr. Leonard said.


NKF Spring Clinical Meetings

For the past 32 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 is 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 is revolutionizing the fight to save lives by eliminating preventable kidney disease, accelerating innovation for the dignity of the patient experience, and dismantling structural inequities in kidney care, dialysis, and transplantation. For more information about kidney disease, please visit www.kidney.org/