Core Investigators

Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania Scientific & Data Coordinating Center

Laura M. Dember, MD

Dr. Dember is a nephrologist and clinical investigator with a major focus on interventions to improve outcomes in end-stage kidney disease. She is a national leader for multicenter clinical trials and observational cohort studies including the Dialysis Access Consortium trials, the Hemodialysis Fistula Maturation Study, and the HiLo trial, all funded by the National Institutes of Health. She was the Principal Investigator for the Time to Reduce Mortality in End-Stage Renal Disease Trial (TiME), a large cluster-randomized pragmatic trial conducted in partnership with two large dialysis provider organizations as one of the initial trials of the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory. She is the Principal Investigator of the Data Coordinating Center for the NIDDK Hemodialysis Novel Therapies Consortium, Principal Investigator of the Scientific and Data Research Center for the NIH HEAL Initiative HOPE Trial, and Principal Investigator of the Scientific and Data Coordinating Center for the NIDDK Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study (CRIC). Dr. Dember has led projects for the Kidney Health Initiative, a public-private partnership between the American Society of Nephrology and the FDA to facilitate innovation in kidney disease treatments, is Deputy Editor for the American Journal of Kidney Diseases and is the Director for the Penn CCEB Certificate Program in Clinical Research. Dr. Dember is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine and completed her internal medicine residency training at the University of Pennsylvania and nephrology fellowship training at Penn and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Amanda Hyre Anderson, PhD, MPH

Dr. Anderson’s major research interests address the epidemiology of kidney diseases, with an emphasis on the causes and consequences of the excessive morbidity and mortality experienced by patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). She has a particular focus on factors associated with CKD progression including fibrosis measures and the gut microbiome, prediction of kidney function decline over time, and the insufficiently characterized burden of co-morbidities and outcomes associated with CKD. Dr. Anderson is the principal investigator of two NIH/NIDDK R01 studies to investigate blood and urine fibrosis measures as predictors of CKD progression and cardiovascular disease in the setting of CKD, and to examine associations between the gut microbiome, plasma and fecal metabolomes, and CKD progression. She has over 10 years of experience providing scientific and operational leadership to Scientific and Data Coordinating Centers of large, multi-center studies examining risk factors for cardiovascular disease and progression of kidney disease among adults with CKD. Dr. Anderson serves as multi-PI for the Scientific and Data Coordinating Center for the CRIC Research Network.

University of Pennsylvania-Renal Research

Debbie Cohen, MBBCH

Dr Cohen is a Professor of Medicine (Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Principal Investigator of the Penn Clinical Center in the CRIC Study.

Johns Hopkins University ProHealth

Lawrence Appel, MD, MPH

Dr. Lawrence Appel is Director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, a joint program of the School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Appel is a Professor of Medicine with adjunct appointments in Epidemiology and International Health. The focus of Dr. Appel's investigative career is the conduct of clinical, epidemiologic and translational research pertaining to the prevention of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease.

Currently, Dr. Appel has three large, complementary research programs:

  • large-scale trials of dietary changes to prevent disease
  • behavioral intervention trials that test novel strategies to accomplish lifestyle modification, often focused on obesity
  • trials and observational studies to understand risk factors for chronic kidney disease progression and its complications

A particularly notable feature of this research is the focus on conditions and diseases that disproportionately afflict minorities and on interventions that have the potential to substantially reduce racial disparities.

Dr. Appel has been actively involved in health care policy. He was a member of the 2005 and 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Scientific Advisory Committees. For the American Heart Association, he has been a member of its Nutrition Committee for over 10 years and a past chair. He has also served on several Institute of Medicine Committees and chaired the committee that set dietary reference intakes for sodium, potassium and water. He has served on numerous advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health.

University of Maryland

Mathew Weir, MD

Dr. Weir is attending physician and Director of the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Maryland Hospital, Baltimore. He is also Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Weir’s primary research interests include the use of antihypertensive therapy for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy, hypertensive renal injury in African Americans, cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism to treat atherosclerosis. He has written more than 700 manuscripts and book chapters about these topics. He has edited 8 books on topics in nephrology, transplantation, and hypertension. He has presented at numerous international scientific association meetings, hospitals, and medical schools. Dr. Weir currently reviews manuscripts for more than 30 major medical journals, including the American Society of Nephrology, and Archives of Internal Medicine. He is on the editorial board of 18 journals and is Section Editor of Current Hypertension Reports and Current Opinion in Hypertension and Nephrology, and Associate Editor of Clinical Nephrology and the American Journal of Nephrology. He has 5 active NIH supported grants from NIDDK. In addition, he is a member of numerous associations, including the American Society of Nephrology, the National Kidney Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the American Society of Transplantation. Dr. Weir is the Principal Investigator of the University of Maryland site in the CRIC Study.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center

Mahboob Rahman, MD, MS

Dr. Mahboob Rahman is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, and a staff nephrologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. His areas of research interest include hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular risk in patients with chronic kidney disease.

MetroHealth Medical Center

Edward J. Horwitz, MD

Dr. Horwitz is an Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the Principal Investigator of the Metrohealth Medical Center site in the CRIC Study. 

 

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Jonathan J. Taliercio, DO

Dr. Taliercio received his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Long Island, NY. He completed his Internal Medicine residency and Nephrology and Hypertension fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, where he has been on staff since 2010. He is Associate Professor for the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Dr. Taliercio is the Associate Program Director for the Nephrology Fellowship Program and the Specialty Education Coordinator for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. His clinical interests include chronic kidney disease, resistant hypertension, and glomerulonephritis.

University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems

Panduranga Rao, MD

Dr. Rao research interests include outcome studies in kidney transplantation with a focus on donor risk index and transplant benefit. Another area of research interest is Lupus Nephritis with focus on predictors of renal outcome based on gene expression profile in kidney biopsy. Dr. Rao is the Principal Investigator of the University of Michigan site in the CRIC Study. 

 

Wayne State University School of Medicine

James H. Sondheimer, MD

James H. Sondheimer, MD is Associate Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, where he is Interim Division Chief of Nephrology. Dr. Sondheimer is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Nephrology and is certified in Clinical Hypertension (ASH). He is a graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed his Medicine and Nephrology training at North Shore University Hospital and Memorial Hospital in New York. His research interests revolve around ESRD, CKD, and measurement of renal function, as well as trace element metabolism. He has been associated with CRIC at Wayne State since 2004.

University of Illinois at Chicago

James P. Lash, MD

Dr. James Lash is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Lash's research focuses on the epidemiology of chronic kidney disease and interventional trials in the treatment of kidney disease, particularly in racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. In addition to being the Principal Investigator of the University of Illinois CRIC Clinical Center, he is the Principal Investigator for the Hispanic CRIC Study and the Fogarty-sponsored Mexican Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study based at the Instituto Nacional de Cardiología Ignacio Chávez in Mexico City. Dr. Lash is also the recipient of a Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24) which is focused on providing mentorship and training for new physician-scientists in the area of health disparities in chronic kidney disease. Dr. Lash has had considerable experience in recruitment and retention for clinical trials, including the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), and African American Study of Kidney and Hypertension (AASK) Cohort Study, and the Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist Losartan (RENAAL) Study.

Tulane Office of Health Research

Jing Chen, MD, MMSc, MSc

Dr. Chen is a Professor of Medicine in the Section of Nephrology and Hypertension at Tulane University School of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Chen has formal training in Clinical Medicine, is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology, and is a Clinical Hypertension Specialist. She has extensive experience in the design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of clinical research and clinical trials in hypertension, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. She is a principal investigator and co-investigator on several NIH-funded multicenter clinical research studies and clinical trials. She authored approximately 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles. Dr. Chen is the Principal Investigator of the Tulane site in the CRIC Study.

Kaiser Permanente of Northern California

Alan S. Go, MD

Dr. Alan S. Go is Chief of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Condition Section and Director of the Comprehensive Clinical Research Unit at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. He is also Regional Medical Director of Clinical Trials for Kaiser Permanente Northern California and Associate Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Go is Principal Investigator of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California/UCSF CRIC Clinical Research Center. Dr. Go's research interests include characterizing the epidemiology of acute, chronic and end-stage renal disease; optimizing treatment and outcomes of cardiovascular and renal disease; prevention and treatment of acute and chronic kidney disease; epidemiology, management of atrial fibrillation, heart failure and ischemic heart disease; and genetic and other biomarker predictors of cardiovascular complications.

Afshin Parsa, MD, MPH

Dr. Parsa is Program Director in the Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. As program Director, Dr. Parsa oversees research portfolios associated with the Program in Kidney Genetics and Genomics, translational and clinical aspects of Polycystic Kidney Disease, and a broad array of translational and clinical CKD related research. Dr. Parsa’s professional activities also include overseeing the design, analysis, and interpretation of clinical trials; and both genetic and traditional epidemiologic studies. Dr. Parsa is also involved in science and program management of various multi-institutional studies including: the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study (CRIC); Preventing Early Renal Function Loss (PERL) allopurinol trial, Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP) and the APOLLO consortium.

Tracy Rankin, PhD, MPH

Dr. Tracy Rankin is the program director for career development and training in the Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). She manages a portfolio of career development and fellowship awards encompassing all aspects of renal and benign urologic disease. Additionally, she manages a research portfolio focused on urologic complications of diabetes and molecular endocrinology of the lower genitourinary tract. She also serves as the program official for the O’Brien Urology Centers program. Prior to coming to the NIDDK, Dr. Rankin served as the program official for the Reproductive Medicine Network and the Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction and Infertility Research (now called the National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility) at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 

 

CRIC Scientific Discoveries

Chronic kidney disease is common in the US population, and we understand that it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, risk scores have not been generated specifically for identifying CKD patients, who are most likely to develop heart disease. In this large-scale proteomics study, we measured nearly 5,000 proteins and used machine learning methods to generate and validate a 32-protein risk score. This score surpassed clinical risk models for predicting incident cardiovascular disease.
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CRIC Collaborations

The CRIC Scientific and Data Coordinating Center at Penn receives data and provides ongoing support for a number of Ancillary Studies approved by the CRIC Cohort utilizing both data collected about CRIC study participants as well as their biological samples.
Learn more about collaborating with CRIC >>
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