Click here for the faculty list in the Department of Medicine’s Directory. Brief biographies of Nephrology team members are available below:
Dr. Waikar 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, the CKD of Unknown Etiology Consortium, and several other grants related to kidney physiology and biomarkers of kidney disease.
Dr. Amodu received his medical degree from University of Lagos, Nigeria. He earned his master’s degree in public health at Harvard University. He completed his internal medical residency at Seton Hall University, St Francis Medical in New Jersey where he was a chief resident. His nephrology training was at Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Amodu has established a nephrology clinic within the BMC Center of Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease, which serves more than 450 patients annually. He is interested in understanding disparities in healthcare delivery in minorities and improving access to care. Dr. Amodu is involved in patient-oriented research in chronic kidney disease.
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 is also a hypertension specialist and in recent years has shifted her primary interest towards caring for patients with hypertension. She serves as the Co-Director of the Comprehensive Hypertension Center at Boston Medical 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. Dr. Beck serves as the inaugural Director of the Glomerular Center at Boston Medical Center
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 and the 2020 inductee into Boston University Medical Group’s Clinical Excellence Society. Dr. Bhati serves as the Medical Director of Davita Boston Dialysis Clinic.
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.
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.
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 at Harvard-MIT Division of Science and Technology. Being a practicing physician, his research is deeply rooted in clinical medicine at the intersection of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and nephrology. Leveraging an array of models and cutting-edge tools starting from molecular level to animal models, computational medicine, human subject research and artificial intelligence, his laboratory is currently addressing major bottlenecks in the field of nephrology and hemodialysis. His reverse translational model of bedside-bench-bedside has contributed to the fundamental understanding of cardiovascular diseases in patients of kidney failure and cancer. His NIH- and privately-funded laboratory provides a breadth of experience to trainees, including experiences in molecular biology, translational medicine, clinical research, and health economics. 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 is the inaugural director of the BU’s Center for Cross Organ Vascular Pathology.
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.
Dr. Forman received his medical degree from Yale, trained in internal medicine at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals in Seattle and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and completed his clinical and research fellowship in nephrology at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals. He obtained a Masters in Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2006. Before joining BU in 2020, he was a clinician and hypertension specialist, educator, and clinical investigator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. At BU, he continues to care for patients with complex hypertension problems; in addition, he performs clinical research as an NIH-funded investigator, including observational studies and clinical trials, related to the prevention, evaluation, and care of individuals with hypertension.
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 completed 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 Boston Medical Center and the Medical Director of the pancreas transplant program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 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. He is also a 2022 honoree from the National Kidney Foundation New England for Excellence in Transplant and Nephrology. 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.
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 is involved in a number of mentoring activities for medical students, residents and nephrology fellows.
Dr. Ilori received her medical degree from University of Lagos Medical School in Nigeria. After moving to the US, she completed her residency at Morehouse School of Medicine and nephrology fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine, both in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Ilori went on to receive her Master of Science in Clinical Research at Emory University while working there as an Assistant Professor of Medicine. Dr. Ilori then moved to the University of Arizona as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and worked as a co-investigator on the All of Us Research Program. She is a co-investigator and member of the steering committee of the Human Hereditary and Health in Africa Kidney Disease Research Network. Dr. Ilori, joined BU in November 2019. She is supported by an NIH K23 career development award focused on gene-environment interactions in Apolipoprotein L1 nephropathy. She is investigating the effect of diet and lifestyle in the development and progression of CKD in the context of genetic and genomic risk variants, using diverse data sources including the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study, the Black Women’s Health Study, and the Jackson Heart Study.
Dr. Lu received his medical degree from Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China and his graduate degree from Northeastern University in the US. He completed his post-doctoral training in the Renal Division and the Genetics Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lu is a principal investigator and faculty member in the Nephrology Section and a mentor to fellows, postdocs, and students. Dr. Lu’s laboratory focuses on the basic and translational research of kidney development, congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary track (CAKUT), podocyte biology and injury, pericyte biology, and renal fibrosis, as well as the discovery of new biomarkers, artificial-intelligence- based pathology tools to improve diagnosis and clinical trials and novel drug development for chronic kidney disease. In recognition of his seminal contribution to developing a potential new drug for chronic kidney disease in collaboration with Pfizer, Dr. Lu was named the Boston University Innovator of the Year in 2019. Dr. Lu is the Chair of the Core Oversight Advisory Committee in the Department of Medicine, a Co-Director of the BU CTSI R-Award Grant Writing Workshop, and a voting member of the Boston University Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). He is also a fellow of the American Society of Nephrology and the International Society of Nephrology. Dr. Lu is an Academic Editor of the scientific journal PLOS ONE and a member of the NIH grant review study sections.
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. Dr. Menn is the recipient of the NKF’s Young Investigators Grant and the 2020 Evans Day Clinical Quality Improvement Award for her work on reducing no-shows in the multidisciplinary lupus clinic.
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 research 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.
Dr. Rizzolo received her medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and her residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. She completed a clinical and research and chief fellowship in nephrology at the University of Colorado in 2023. Her research interests center on utilizing mixed-methods and implementation science methodology to improve access to kidney care for underserved communities disproportionately impacted by kidney disease, especially Latinx and immigrant populations. She is a research fellow in Boston University’s Evans Center for Implementation and Improvement Sciences from 2023-2025.
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.
Dr. Schmidt received her M.D. degree from Hanover Medical School in Germany and her M.P.H. degree from Harvard University. She has a broad range of interests in quantitative and qualitative clinical research, combining rich data from multiple sources, including biomarkers, digital kidney pathology, and clinical and psychosocial information, to improve clinical disease phenotyping and outcome prediction for patients with kidney disease. Her projects focus on associations of chronic kidney and cardiovascular disease, the development of novel biomarkers for prediction of adverse clinical events, and various aspects of clinical care including differences in medical values and practices and interpersonal aspects of patient care. Dr. Schmidt received the Charles W. Holtzer fellowship Award for her studies at Harvard and was awarded a Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Award by the American Society of Nephrology in 2023.
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. 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. Dr. Stern serves as the Medical Director of Home Dialysis at Davita Boston Dialysis Clinic.
Dr. Upadhyay obtained his medical degree from Tribhuvan University Institute of Medicine in Nepal, completed medicine residency at Tufts University/St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, and nephrology fellowship at Boston University/Boston Medical Center. He has academic interests in examining the interactions between metabolic and vascular diseases and 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, 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, and is a key faculty in BU’s NIH R38-funded research in 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. Dr. Upadhyay is the recipient of the 2021 Program Leadership Award from Boston Medical Center and the 2022 Robert Dawson Evans Special Recognition Teaching Award from the Department of Medicine.
Dr. Verma studied medicine at the Stanley Medical College, Chennai. After moving to the US, he completed his internal medicine residency training at the University of Tennessee and completed a nephrology fellowship program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Verma received formal research training for 2 years at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Verma is a clinical researcher with a broad range of clinical and translational research interests, with projects focusing on CKD phenotyping, mechanisms of CKD progression, renal physiology, cardiorenal syndrome, and acid-base and electrolyte disorders. Dr. Verma has received awards for his research and teaching, including the 2018 best resident research award from University of Tennessee and 2019 best fellowship teaching award from the department of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is a co-investigator on multiple clinical studies, on kidney function reserve physiology, intravitreal VEGF inhibitors and nephrotoxicity, and clinical studies utilizing data from CRIC and NHANES databases.
Dr. Wei studied renal physiology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine as a graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, and junior faculty in succession. He was a recipient of the American Society of Nephrology Ben J. Lipps Post-Doctoral Fellowship and Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant. Dr. Wei joined BU/BMC’s faculty and established his independent research laboratory in 2023. His laboratory uses a diverse array of sophisticated experimental techniques, various transgenic animal models, and novel pharmaceuticals to delve into renal mechanisms of blood pressure regulation. The overarching aim of his research endeavors is to discover potential innovative therapeutic targets and treatment strategies for hypertension.
Dr. Zhang received her BS degree from Jilin University in China and her PhD degree from the University of South Florida. She joined the faculty of BU/BMC and established her independent research laboratory in 2023. Dr. Zhang’s laboratory employs a combination of classical renal physiology techniques such as micropuncture and microperfusion, as well as cutting-edge molecular biology technologies such as single-cell RNA sequencing and genetically engineered animal models to explore fundamental questions within the field of nephrology. Her research endeavors have been supported by prestigious fellowships and grants, including the American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, the American Society of Nephrology Ben J. Lipps Post-Doctoral Fellowship, the American Society of Nephrology Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant, and NIH-NIDDK R01 Grant.
Kidney Pathology Faculty
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.
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 served in BU’s nephrology section as a faculty from 2008 to 2022. She is currently Director of Medical Research at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals but continues her research and clinical work at BU’s Amyloidosis Center. Dr. Havasi is the recipient of the American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant, the NIH K08 award, the Department of Medicine’s Evans Clinician Designation.
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Additional Research Team Members
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Nephrology Physician Extenders
Ms. Furgal graduated with Masters In Physician Assistant Studies from Springfield College in 2006. She started her PA career in nephrology in Western Massachusetts. She moved to Boston Medical Center in 2013 and joined the Section as the first Nephrology Physician Assistant in 2018. Ms. Furgal primarily works with inpatient consult services and helps offload consult volume from teaching services. She enjoys working with Nephrology Fellows and is a tremendous resource for clinical fellows.
Ms. Young obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Regis College and her master’s degree in nursing in family medicine from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has several years of experience in hemodialysis. Additionally, she has a dual role as a case manager under Massachusetts’ Accountable Care Organization, with a passion for addressing social determinants of health in underserved urban populations.
Ms. Carss was born in Newcastle, England, raised in Connecticut, and then abandoned the Atlantic Ocean for the Midwest to go to school for accounting. She has worked in the healthcare field since graduating, and chose to further specialize with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration while working in the finance department at Boston Medical Center. She has been with BMC since 2013 as a financial analyst, senior accountant, and now as the Administrative Director of Nephrology . She feels she could not have imagined choosing a better institution to work within and is delighted to be able to work with talented clinicians, researchers, and administrative teams to provide exceptional care to our patients. Outside of BMC, she teaches swimming lessons, coaches a JV club swim team, owns a dog care business, and is a proud mom.
Ms. Mahoney was born and raised in Central Massachusetts, attended Salem State University for accounting. She has been with BMC since 2015 as a grant manager for Endocrinology, Cardiology, Infectious Disease and Nephrology in the Department of Medicine. She can not imagine choosing a better institution to support and she is proud to be able to work with such talented clinicians, researchers, and administrative teams to provide exceptional care to our patients. Outside of BMC, she enjoys riding horses, running, biking and skiing.
Ms. Jeannot attended the University of Massachusetts in Lowell for Finance. She joined BMC in 2023 in the Department of Nephrology as an Administrative Coordinator. During her free time, she enjoys playing soccer and learning new skills.
Ms. Aristhomene attended Cape Cod Community College and Eastern Nazarene and studied Elementary Education. She grew up in Sagamore Beach where she currently lives with her family. She started at BMC in 2017 in the Department of Orthopedics as Surgical and Administrative Coordinator and joined the Section of Nephrology as Fellowship Coordinator in 2023. Outside of BMC, she is a mom to 3 girls and loves to bake.