Young Investigators Recognized at National Kidney Foundation’s 15th Annual National Young Investigators Forum

July 22, 2020—New York, NY—Research fellows were recognized for their excellence in basic and clinical research at the annual National Young Investigators Forum (YIF) on Friday. Regional winners were invited to participate virtually and compete for national accolades based on original research they presented at the forum.

“The National Young Investigators Forum is an opportunity for nephrology fellows, as well as medical students and residents who we hope might someday become nephrologists, to present their research and gain recognition through a national platform,” said Holly Kramer, MD, MPH, National Kidney Foundation President and a practicing nephrologist. “It encourages young investigators to conduct research in an effort to advance the care of patients with kidney disease and provides a forum for them to present their exciting research findings,” added Kramer.

Final awards were determined through an open competition that was judged by independent clinical experts. The 2020 winners in both categories include:

Basic Science

1st Place: Fabian Bock, MD, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN for his project, RAC1 Maintains Renal Epithelial Integrity and Cytoskeletal Organization and is Required for Normal Nephron and Collecting Duct Development

2nd Place: Joseph Leeds, MD, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA for his project, Lack of DJ-1 Amplifies Sepsis-Associated Acute Kidney Injury

3rd Place: Anamaria Tatomir, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD for her project, A Novel Genetically Defined Mouse Model of Hypertensive Nephropathy.  


Clinical Research

1st Place: Dinushika Mohottige, MD, MPH, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC for her project, A Tale of Two Neighborhoods: Association of Neighborhood-Level Social and Environmental Contexts with High CKD Prevalence

2nd Place: Simon Hsu, MD, MS, University of Washington, Seattle, WA for his project, Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Clearance Is Reduced in Chronic Kidney Disease.

3rd Place: Matthew Sinclair, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC for his project, Differences in Clinical Phenotype, Bacterial Genotype, And Outcomes in Hemodialysis-Dependent Patients in The Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteremia Group-Prospective Cohort Study


The National Young Investigators Forum was funded through educational grants provided by Amgen and AstraZeneca.


About Kidney Disease

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 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabeteshigh blood pressureheart diseaseobesity, and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. 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.


NKF Professional Membership

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


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