Nephrology Faculty

Sushrut S. Waikar MD, MPH  Norman Levinsky Professor of Medicine  
Chief of the Section

Dr. Waikar is the Norman G. Levinsky Professor of Medicine and Chief of Nephrology at BU/BMC. He received his medical degree from Yale and trained in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he served as chief medical resident. He trained in nephrology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Massachusetts General Hospital and earned his master’s degree in public health at Harvard in 2006. Prior to joining BU in September 2019, he was the Constantine L. Hampers, MD Distinguished Chair in Renal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). He is an active clinician and educator and has received teaching awards from BWH, Harvard, and UCSF. Dr. Waikar is a clinical researcher whose research interests are inspired by the patients he sees in the clinic and inpatient wards. He uses epidemiologic, translational, and interventional studies to address a number of questions at the interface of clinical nephrology and patient-oriented research. He is a Principal Investigator of the NIH Kidney Precision Medicine Project and several other grants related to biomarkers of kidney disease.


Rivka Ayalon MD Assistant Professor of Medicine
Rivka Ayalon MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Ayalon received her medical degree from Faculty of Health Sciences of Ben Gurion University in Israel. After completing clinical training in medicine and nephrology in Tel-Aviv Medical Center she moved to the US and received further training in clinical and research nephrology at Boston University. She conducted research in the Beck/Salant laboratory and made important scientific contributions in understanding the clinical implications of anti-PLA2R (phospholipase A2 receptor) antibodies in membranous nephropathy. She is a recipient of the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network’s Career Development Fellowship Grant. Dr. Ayalon’s main area of interest is hypertension and she runs the hypertension clinic in the department of Primary Care at Boston Medical Center.


Laurence H. Beck Jr MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine Director, Glomerular Center
Laurence H. Beck Jr MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine                                    Director of the Glomerular Center 

Dr. Beck received his MD and PhD degrees from Harvard University, and completed both medicine and nephrology training at Boston University. He is an internationally known basic and translational physician-scientist with a research focus on auto-immune glomerular and interstitial diseases. His pioneering work with Dr. David Salant led to the identification of PLA2R (phospholipase A2 receptor) as the major target antigen in membranous nephropathy in 2009 and THSD7A (thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing 7A) as a minor target antigen in membranous nephropathy in 2014. These landmark discoveries have led to a new era in the diagnosis, disease monitoring, and clinical management of membranous nephropathy. Their work has now made it possible to follow the immunologic course of membranous nephropathy which has been shown to correlate with treatment response and clinical outcomes. He is the 2019 recipient of the American Society of Nephrology’s Distinguished Researcher Award. 


Jasvinder S. Bhatia MD Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine Director of Clinical Services Medical Director of DaVita Boston
Jasvinder S. Bhatia MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
Director of Clinical Services
Medical Director of DaVita Boston

Dr. Bhatia obtained his medical degree from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He completed both his medicine and nephrology training at Boston University. Recognized as one of Boston’s top nephrologists by the Boston Magazine, Dr. Bhatia has overseen the clinical nephrology services at Boston Medical Center (BMC) since 2006 and is the medical director of Davita-Boston, the largest dialysis unit in Massachusetts. He is a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the National Kidney Foundation of New England and serves on the ESRD Divisional Board of the ESRD Network of New England. He is a Co-Chair of the ESRD Task Force at BMC. The ESRD Task Force strives to improve the transition of care from CKD to ESRD. He is the 2018 recipient of the Evans Clinician Designation. 


Ramon GB. Bonegio MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine Chief of Clinical Nephrology at Boston VA
Ramon GB. Bonegio MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Chief of Clinical Nephrology at Boston VA

Dr. Bonegio is Associate Chief of Nephrology for the VA-Boston Healthcare System. Dr. Bonegio received his medical degree from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He completed his initial training in medicine and nephrology in South Africa before moving to the US to complete nephrology fellowship. He subsequently earned a PhD in molecular medicine under the mentorship of Dr. David Salant at Boston University. His basic research work focuses on investigating the pathobiology of immune-complex and lupus-associated glomerulonephritis. He is also active in conducting clinical trials on lupus, focal sclerosis and membranous nephropathy, and, with Dr. Menn, has established an auto-immune disease registry for clinical studies at Boston Medical Center. In addition to research, Dr. Bonegio is a recognized educator who has won awards and commendations for teaching and mentorship from all levels of trainees.”


Steven C. Borkan MD Associate Professor of Medicine
Steven C. Borkan MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Borkan received his medical degree from University of Cincinnati. He completed his initial clinical and research training in nephrology at University of Chicago. He continued his nephrology research training at Boston University and joined BU’s nephrology section as a faculty in 1989. Dr. Borkan’s laboratory, which has been funded by the NIH for more than 15 years, examines the cellular mechanisms of ischemic acute kidney injury. He is also a noted medical educator who has been recognized with several awards for excellence in teaching from medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty at Boston University. Most recently, he was named 2019 Educator of the Year by BU School of Medicine, was the finalist for the Metcalf Teaching Award (one of the highest awards given to a BU faculty) and received the Grant V. Rodkey Award from the Massachusetts Medical Society for significant contributions to medical education and mentoring activities. Currently, Dr. Borkan serves as a Co-Director of BU’s MD PhD Program.


Vipul C. Chitalia MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine
Vipul C. Chitalia MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Chitalia obtained his medical degree from University of Bombay. He completed his initial training in medicine and nephrology in India. After moving to the US, he completed medicine residency at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, nephrology fellowship and PhD in molecular medicine at Boston University, and post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Elazer Edelman at Harvard-MIT Division of Science and Technology. Dr. Chitalia is an accomplished physician-scientist whose NIH-funded laboratory focuses on understanding the post-translational modifications of proteins and their role in kidney failure and cancer-related vascular pathologies.  Dr. Chitalia has received multiple awards for his research and mentorship, including the 2016 Outstanding Mentor Award from Boston University and 2019 Senior Research Mentor Award from the Department of Medicine. Dr. Chitalia serves as a Co-Director of BU’s Thrombosis to Hemostasis Affinity Research Collaborative.


Herbert T. Cohen MD Associate Professor of Medicine, Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Pharmacology, and Experimental Therapeutics
Herbert T. Cohen MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Pharmacology, and Experimental Therapeutics

Dr. Cohen graduated from Jefferson Medical College and received his clinical and research training in nephrology at University of Chicago. In addition, he received advanced training in molecular biology and protein chemistry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Dr. Vikas P. Sukhatme. Dr. Cohen’s research interests are in the molecular basis of kidney cancer, cystic kidney disease and kidney development. His laboratory has identified a new family of transcription factor and ubiquitin ligase proteins called the Jade family of proteins that play an important role in kidney cancer and cyst formation. Dr. Cohen’s scientific contributions have been recognized by election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation.  


Jean M. Francis MD Associate Professor of Medicine Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation
Jean M. Francis MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation

Dr. Francis obtained his medical degree from Lebanese University School of Medicine . He completed his medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at Hospital of Saint Raphael and Yale University. He subsequently did kidney and pancreas transplantation fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. He is UNOS certified transplant physician, and serves as the Medical Director of the kidney transplant program at BUSM and the Medical Director of the pancreas transplant program at BWH. Dr. Francis is the Quality Director in the section of Transplant Surgery. He conducts clinical research in kidney transplantation, and has a special interest in thrombotic microangiopathy and complement-mediated diseases. He is also an accomplished educator who has won several excellence in teaching awards from the Department of Medicine. Dr. Francis serves as a Co-Director of BU’s Thrombosis and Microangiopathy Collaborative. He is also the Co-Director of the affinity research collaborative (ARC) on thrombosis and homeostasis at BUSM.


Sandeep Ghai MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Medical Director of the Acute Dialysis Program
Sandeep Ghai MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medical Director of the Acute Dialysis Program

Dr. Ghai received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine. He completed both his medicine and nephrology training at Boston University. Dr. Ghai is an active transplant nephrologist with a special interest in health system improvements within the inpatient setting. He is active in medical education at all levels, and directs nephrology clinical conferences and Boston Medical Center’s acute dialysis program.

 

 


Andrea Havasi MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Director of Quality Improvement
Andrea Havasi MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director of Quality Improvement

Dr. Havasi graduated from Semmelweis University School of Medicine in Hungary and completed nephrology training at Boston University. As a recipient of the National Kidney Foundation Research Fellow Award, she undertook research training at BU investigating the cytoprotective mechanisms of Hsp27 in ischemic renal cell injury and apoptosis. She joined BU’s nephrology section as a faculty in 2008, and continues basic, translational and clinical research in the area of systemic amyloidosis, renal cell injury and proteinuric kidney diseases. She has a special clinical and research interest in onco-nephrology and amyloidosis, and is a faculty in BU’s Amyloidosis Center. She is the recipient of the American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant and the NIH K08 award. She is also the 2019 recipient of the Evans Clinician Designation. Dr. Havasi is a Co-Director of BU’s Mitochondria Affinity Research Collaborative, and Director of Nephrology Fellowship Program’s Onco-nephrology / Amyloidosis Pathway.


Aala Jaberi, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Jaberi obtained her medical degree from Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She completed her initial clinical training in internal medicine in Ireland. She became a member of Royal College of Physicians in Ireland  following the successful completion of her training and examinations. Prior to joining Boston University, she completed a research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Andrey Cybulsky at McGill University. As a research fellows at McGill, Dr. Jaberi examined the cellular pathways involved in kidney development and cellular kidney injury. In particular, Dr. Jaberi focused on understanding the molecular events that occur during ischemic-reperfusion injury and podocyte injury. Following her training in laboratory research, Dr. Jaberi pursued a clinical and research nephrology fellowship at Boston University.


Weining Lu MD, MSc Associate Professor of Medicine Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Weining Lu MD, MSc
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Dr. Lu obtained his medical degree from Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China and his Masters in Science degree from Northeastern University in the US. He completed his post-doctoral training in the Renal Division and Genetics Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lu works as a research faculty and a mentor for fellows, postdocs, and students. He is a member of the Training Oversight Committee of NIH’s T32 Research Training Program in the Renal Section. Dr. Lu’s laboratory focuses on basic science and translational research of kidney development, congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT), podocyte biology and injury, pericyte biology and renal fibrosis, and discovery of novel drug targets for patients with chronic kidney disease. Dr. Lu is a fellow of the American Society of Nephrology and a member of NIH grant review study sections.


Hanni Menn-Josephy MD Assistant Professor of Medicine
Hanni Menn-Josephy MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Menn obtained her medical degree from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. She completed her initial clinical training in Israel before moving to the US to complete nephrology clinical and research fellowship at Boston University. She has a special interest in auto-immune kidney diseases in general and lupus nephritis in particular. As a nephrology fellow, she studied interferon regulating pathways in both lupus mice models and human cells. Dr. Menn is also active in conducting clinical trials on lupus nephritis and co-directs a multidisciplinary lupus and autoimmune clinic at Boston Medical Center. With Dr. Bonegio, she has established an auto-immune disease registry for clinical studies at Boston Medical Center. She is a faculty in BU’s Amyloidosis Center, and is a Director of Nephrology Fellowship Program’s Lupus Nephritis / Auto-immune Disease Pathway. She is also a recipient of the NKF’s Young Investigators Grant.


Ian R. Rifkin MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine Chief of Nephrology at Boston VA Director of NIH’s T32 Research Training Program
Ian R. Rifkin MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Chief of Nephrology at Boston VA
Director of NIH’s T32 Research Training Program

Dr. Rifkin obtained his medical degree from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He received his initial clinical training in South Africa and the United Kingdom, obtained PhD in Immunology from University of Cambridge, and completed clinical and research nephrology fellowship at Boston University. Dr. Rifkin is an accomplished physician-scientist with a research focus on immunology and lupus nephritis. His scientific works have been funded by the NIH, a number of national and international foundations, and leading pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Rifkin is one of the founders of BU’s Center for Immunobiology. He is also an active mentor for students, clinical and post-doctoral fellows, and faculty.


David J. Salant MD Norman Levinsky Professor of Medicine Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine Chief of the Section
David J. Salant MD
Professor of Medicine
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine

Dr. Salant is Professor of Medicine and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine. He was the inaugural Norman G. Levinsky Professor of Medicine and served as the Chief of Nephrology from 1987 to 2019. Dr. Salant received his medical degree from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and completed his clinical training at Johannesburg General Hospital. He received his research training at Boston University with Dr. William G. Couser and joined BU’s nephrology faculty in 1979. Dr. Salant is an internationally renowned physician-scientist and an acclaimed educator. His research primarily explores the immune basis for glomerular diseases and the mechanisms of podocyte injury. He was among the first to identify podocytes as the primary target of injury in antibody-mediated glomerular diseases. In a landmark New England Journal of Medicine paper in 2009, Drs. Salant, Beck and colleagues described their discovery of the target antigen in membranous nephropathy and showed that a high proportion of patients with membranous nephropathy have circulating autoantibodies to the phospholipase A2 receptor on human podocytes. Dr. Salant is a past chairman of the ABIM Sub-specialty Board of Examiners in Nephrology, and recipient of several national and international awards for his scientific contributions, including election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, the John P. Peters Award from the American Society of Nephrology, the Jean Hamburger Award from the International Society of Nephrology, the Donald W. Seldin Award from the National Kidney Foundation, and the Marilyn Farquhar Award at the 11th Annual Podocyte Conference.


Lauren Stern MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Medical Director of the Home Dialysis Program
Lauren Stern MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medical Director of the Home Dialysis Program

Dr. Stern obtained her medical degree from Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She completed her medicine residency, chief residency, and nephrology fellowship at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Dr. Stern has a special clinical interest in expanding home dialysis services within the underserved communities. She also participates in clinical research activities on amyloidosis and is a faculty in BU’s Amyloidosis Center. At BU, Dr. Stern serves as an Associate Director of the third year medicine clerkship and directs the second year renal pathophysiology course. Outside of BU, Dr. Stern has served on the American Society of Nephrology’s Workforce and the Public Policy and Advocacy Committees, and is part of the Home Dialysis University faculty.


Ashish Upadhyay MD Associate Professor of Medicine Director of the Fellowship Training Program
Ashish Upadhyay MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director of the Fellowship Training Program

Dr. Upadhyay obtained his medical degree from Tribhuvan University Institute of Medicine in Nepal and completed nephrology training at Boston University. He has academic interests in examining mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases in CKD. He has conducted epidemiologic research in the Framingham Heart Study, led the evidence review team for the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) clinical practice guidelines on lipid management, and participated in the evidence review teams for the KDIGO clinical practice guidelines on blood pressure and anemia management. At BU, in addition to directing the nephrology fellowship program, Dr. Upadhyay oversees research and EBM curriculum of the medicine residency program. He also has a special interest in hemodialysis systems and serves as a voting member of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s Renal Disease and Detoxification Committee, the primary source of national and international consensus standards for hemodialysis technology and dialysis water sterilization processes.


Kidney Pathology Faculty


Joel M. Henderson MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Joel M. Henderson MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Dr. Henderson obtained his MD and PhD degrees from Ohio State University. He completed his clinical and research training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Henderson’s research focuses on elucidating the role of podocytes in mechanically-mediated glomerular damage using both mouse models and human tissues. He is also interested in the biology of renal inflammation. Dr. Henderson is the Program Director of BU’s pathology residency and a faculty in BU’s multidisciplinary training program in inflammatory disorder. He is also one of the primary investigators in the Framingham Heart Study.