Fluid Management and Bioimpedance
Body Composition and Nutrition
Epidemiology and MONDO
More Information Coming Soon
Neurobiomarkers and Environmental Factors
in CKD and HD
by Abby Johnson, BS, Hassan A. N. El-Fawal, MS, PhD,
Darius Mason, PharmD, BCPS
A neglected area in the management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and hemodialysis (HD) is the early detection and amelior- ation of cognitive decline. A survey of the literature indicates that in patients with CKD, there is a high prevalence of cognitive and neurological impairments, where approximately 70% of HD patients age 55 and older suffer from moderate to severe chronic cognitive dysfunction (1,2). This
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Periodontal Disease in Hemodialysis Patients
Saving Lives in sub-Sahara Africa
RRI 2014 Conference Program
XIX World Transplant Games 2013
Sustainable Kidney Care Foundation
Advanced Renal Education Program
16th International Conference on Dialysis
impairment may manifest as difficulty in recall, confusion and dementia (2).
Although the exact cause for the decline is unknown, several factors such as vascular disease and inflammation, progression of CKD, hemodialysis, and increase stroke prevalence could contribute to its development (3). Furthermore, uremic neurotoxins, such as creatinine and guanidine, accumulate during CKD progression (4-7). With the largely growing incidence of neurological deficits in HD patients, there is a compelling need for high-throughput screening biomarkers to diagnose, monitor, and evaluate protective measures aimed at ameliorating cognitive decline. One area that has shown promising results is the capitalization on the immune system to indicate nervous system (NS) damage in the form of neuro- auto- antibodies, or neuroantibodies.
Capitalizing on the Immune System to Detect Nervous System Damage
The identification of autoantibodies as potential biomarkers of NS insult arose based upon the premise that neurodegeneration results in the loss of NS-specific proteins.
To these proteins, the immune system mounts a humoral immune response which can be detected in blood (8).The loss of NS proteins to the periphery has been reported in numerous neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and depression (9-11). Whereas these proteins have limited half-lives in cerebral spinal fluid and serum, the Furthermore, uremic neurotoxins, such as creatinine and guanidine, accumulate during CKD progression (4-7). With the largely growing incidence of neurological deficits in HD patients, there is a compelling need for high-throughput screening biomarkers to diagnose, monitor, and evaluate protective measures aimed at ameliorating cognitive decline. One area that has shown promising results is the capitalization on the immune system to indicate nervous system (NS) damage in the form of neuro-autoantibodies ...
One of the nation's top academic medical centers, the University of Rochester Medical Center forms the centerpiece of the University's health research, teaching, patient care, and community outreach missions. With more than $145 million in federal research funding, UR School of Medicine research funding ranks in the top one-quarter of U.S. medical centers, while the School of Nursing ranks 12th highest in funding. The University's health care delivery network is anchored by Strong Memorial Hospital—a 739-bed, University-owned teaching hospital—which boasts programs that consistently rank among "America's Best Hospitals," according to U.S. News & World Report. Our patients benefit from the Medical Center's robust teaching and biomedical research programs. Our mission is to use education, science, and technology to improve health—transforming the patient experience with fresh ideas and approaches steeped in disciplined science, and delivered by health care professionals who innovate, take intelligent risks, and care about the lives they touch.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is a division of the University of Massachusetts system. We enroll 10,000 undergraduates and 8000 graduates in a diverse set of programs that include natural sciences, liberal arts, business,and engineering, with 600 full-time and 300 part-time faculty. We have professional programs in nursing, medical technology and physical therapy, and award the PhD in 26 areas, include Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Polymer Technology.
The UNC Health Care System is a not-for-profit integrated health care system, owned by the State of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care. A distinguishing characteristic of UNC Health Care is its association with the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution. This relationship gives UNC Health Care a powerful pathway for moving the results of biomedical research from medical school laboratories to patient care settings. UNC Health Care has been granted broad powers by the North Carolina General Assembly to assure its management flexibility and competitiveness in a rapidly changing health care business environment. The enterprise is governed by a board of directors appointed by the University of North Carolina.
We are a different kind of renal therapy provider. As part of the Renal Research Institute, our affiliation with leading academic institutions is dedicated to developing and improving therapies and best practices for patients with kidney disease. Ideas take flight through research and testing, and our Avantus Renal Therapy clinics offer our dialysis patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials and evaluation of new devices to make dialysis more comfortable and more efficient. We’re proud to say that the Renal Research Institute has led to many new developments for dialysis patients, and freely shares these research findings with everyone interested. From home therapies to private renal suites, Avantus Renal Therapy is committed to providing progressive therapy options and environmental solutions to ensure high quality, cost effective healthcare for our patients. We provide the program and service support for our patients and physicians as they evolve the medical approach throughout the continuum of care.
The University of Konstanz enrolls 12,000 students from about 100 countries. The relatively young German university, founded in 1966, has an extensive global network with over 220 links to European partner universities and US universities, such as Johns Hopkins University, Yale University and the University of Chicago.
The University of Konstanz is one of eleven German Excellence Universities. It consistently achieves high ranks in different university rankings, such as Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. In 2012, the University of Konstanz was assessed on 14th position globally by the "Times Higher Education 100 under 50 University Rankings" (ranks universities which are under 50 years old).
One of the research focuses of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is Analysis and Numerics with a strong interest in industrial applications and applications in other sciences. This is reflected in the teaching plans for the bachelor and master studies with focused series of lectures in analysis, computer science, modeling, functional analysis, finite elements lab, optimization and special courses in PDE, numerics and optimal control.
The Division of Nephrology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has a long and notable history of the study, treatment, causes and potential therapies of kidney disease. With leading researchers, clinicians, and instructors working in state-of-the-art facilities our contributions are significant and validated through the many publications, honors, and grant funding received as we help to advance cures for kidney disease through scientific discoveries, cutting-edge treatments, and renal transplants.
The mission of Nephrology is to; Inspire Interest in the Prevention of Disease, Promote Human Health, Cultivate Biomedical Discovery, Provide Compassionate Care, and Educate Tomorrow's Leaders Vanderbilt Nephrology is ranked in the top 10 by US News and World Reports, investigators received over 12.86 million dollars in grant awards for the fiscal year 2011. Our Division Chief, Ray Harris, MD, is an ASN Councilor and many of our faculty have been elected to advisory boards, steering committees, and leadership positions for NKF, ASN, and other medical associations. Our goal is to provide excellence in patient care, train physicians and researchers, lead in scientific research and discoveries in understanding and treating acute and chronic renal disease, and promote collaborations within the scientific domain.
Taipei Medical University (TMU), formerly known as Taipei Medical College (TMC), was founded on June 1, 1960 by Dr. Shui-Wang Hu, Dr. Cheng-Tien Hsu and other medical professionals and devoted educators. TMU is located on Wuxing Street in eastern Taipei.
Most of more than 30,000 TMU graduates serve in medical institutions and clinics, while many others are prominent figures in the fields of research, politics, and business. TMU has 7 colleges, 12 undergraduate schools and 14 graduate institutes as well as three affiliated hospitals - TMU Hospital, Wan Fang Hospital, and Shuangho Hospital. With approximately 3,000 beds, TMU is one of the largest health care systems and offers top-quality teaching, research and clinical services in the Taipei metropolitan area. We work continuously to improve the quality of teaching, research and clinical services with the goal of becoming a fully internationalized university that ranks in the top tier worldwide.
Maastricht University Medical Centre+ (‘Maastricht UMC+’) is known both nationally and internationally for its focus on prevention The promotion and maintenance of good health are just as important to us as helping patients recover their health. Key tasks are - besides clinical and highly specialized patient - scientific research and education / training. The Maastricht UMC + characterizes itself by the multidisciplinary and problem-based approach. The Maastricht university hospital, which has 715 beds, employs approximately 7,000 people, and educates 4,000 students, is a member of the NFU, the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres.
The School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidade Católica do Paraná, is a 52 year old school based in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. The Renal Medicine Division is part of the Department of Internal Medicine based at the Cajuru and Santa Casa University Hospitals, where the residency program in Nephrology is based. The Renal Medicine Division has strong activities in translational and clinical research, particularly in the area of chronic kidney disease and dialysis, and offers opportunities for Master and PhD students at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences. The Renal Medicine Division is an ISN Sister Renal Center of the University of Nottingham, UK, and has been an academic partner of RRI since 2011.
The University of Michigan Division of Nephrology is dedicated to serving people with kidney disease. Faculty in the division practice and teach optimal care for patients with a broad spectrum of kidney diseases at all stages. In addition, faculty members are actively involved in high-quality research aimed at better treatment as well as prevention of kidney-related health issues.
The University of Minnesota Medical School, Office of Continuing Professional Development, is committed to providing the highest quality educational programs for physicians and other health care providers. Our educational courses are designed to promote a lifetime of outstanding professional practice.
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Israel was born in Zitacuaro, Mexico. In 2006 he received the M.D. degree from the “Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo” in Morelia, Mexico, and obtained the Internal Medicine and Nephrologist diploma by the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico) after successfully completing his fellowship at the Ignacio Chavez National Institute of Cardiology in Mexico City.
Dr. Campos also received training in Interventional Nephrology in Maracaibo, Venezuela. He is a member of the ISN (International Society of Nephrology), ASN (American Society of Nephrology) and IMIN (Instituto Mexicano de Investigaciones Nefrologicas). Prior arriving at the Renal Research Institute, Dr. Campos worked in various research projects related to cardiovascular and brain disease in hemodialysis and on-line hemodiafiltration patients. His main interest at RRI is focused in vascular access evaluation for renal replacement therapies, and on-line hemodiafiltration studies, jointly with the Ignacio Chavez National Institute of Cardiology in Mexico.
Doris has finished her doctoral studies in mathematics at the Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria. She specializes in mathematical modeling in physiology and numerical mathematics. Prior working at RRI, Doris was involved in projects about erythropoiesis, cardiovascular response to ergometric workload, orthostatic stress and low body negative pressure (a model of hypotension). Her research interests include: anemia management, change of blood volume intra- and interdialytically, the connection between EPO and prolonged red cell survival and cardiovascular modeling.
Peter Kotanko, MD as the Research Director is responsible for the overall direction of RRI’s research whose work spans bench science to clinical research to epidemiology to mathematical modeling, protocol design, manuscript preparation and teaching. After spending three years at RRI, Dr. Kotanko was recruited to take over the strategic leadership role of RRI’s research in 2010. His background and expertise in physiology, internal medicine and nephrology and 20 years of clinical experience enable him to be the intellectual leader for our scientists and fellows who come to train in clinical research. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Blood Purification, and Kidney and Blood Pressure Research and co-author of over 190 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and holds several patents in the dialysis field.
Prior to joining RRI, he was the Vice Chair of a Department of Internal Medicine in Graz, Austria, from 1997 to 2007. From 1982 to 1989, he worked as an Assistant Professor, first in the Department of Physiology, and subsequently at the University Clinic of Internal Medicine, Innsbruck, Austria. From 1995-1996 Dr. Kotanko worked at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, UK. Dr. Kotanko’s current teaching appointments are with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, and the Medical University in Innsbruck. He has lectured internationally on topics in nephrology, physiology, and mathematical modeling.
In April 2007 Jochen received his Medical degree, after approval of his doctoral thesis, from the Medical University Graz, Austria, and in October 2014 his PhD, after approval and defense of this doctoral thesis, from the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands. Jochen is also certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) since January 2009. His research activities and interests include glucose and insulin kinetics and metabolism, dry weight estimation, the determination of body composition and body volumes, bioelectrical impedance, cardiovascular pathology in dialysis patients (blood pressure, heart rate variability), the importance of dialysate and serum sodium in dialysis therapy and the clinical application of saliva urea nitrogen as measured by a dipstick method. Dr. Raimann has first- and co-authored several peer-reviewed papers, abstracts and book chapters, is a member of the Editorial Board of Dialysis Times and NDT Educational, and has also been peer-reviewer for various international journals.
Laura started her clinical research as a research fellow for Beth Israel Medical Center in partnership with RRI. Laura obtained her MD degree from the Central University in Quito, Ecuador and did her residency training in nephrology at the Armed Forces Hospital N1 in Quito. She has been working in clinical research for more than 13 years and has presented her work worldwide. She has authored and co-authored numerous publications in peer reviewed journals. She has collaborated actively with prestigious institutions such as the University of California at Davis, the Medical University of Graz, Austria and the Maastricht University Hospital, Netherlands. She is a member of the American Society of Nephrology and the New York Academy of Sciences.
Penny has worked at the Renal Research Institute for over 14 years. She currently holds a BA degree and plans on furthering her education. As a Special Projects Coordinator she is in a unique position to assist both Operations and Research colleagues. She is a member of the Research Quality Team (RQT) working collaboratively to maintain the highest standards in clinical and research related documents. Among Penny's many valuable assets to the company would be her excellent skill at editing large databases as well as her gift at auditing. She is an author on 10+ abstracts and holds memberships in various professional societies.
Prior to coming to New York, Dr. Thijssen worked in the Nephrology Department at the University Hospital Homburg, Germany. He joined Renal Research Institute in 2005 and has served in his current position as Research Laboratory Director since 2010. Dr. Thijssen brings ten years of research experience to the RRI team. He has written and published an extensive number of scholarly articles in leading national and international journals in the field, and published several book chapters. Dr. Thijssen holds one patent and has ten pending U.S. and international patents in the field of nephrology. Dr. Thijssen provides leadership and direction for RRI research activities and directs the planning, development, coordination and management of RRI research projects, and oversees their execution.
Len Usvyat is a Vice President of Integrated Care Analytics with Fresenius Medical Care North America Medical Office. Len holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and PhD from University of Maastricht. He has over 14 years of experience in data management, analytics, and epidemiology. He is responsible for supporting analytical efforts for Fresenius’s integrated care assets which includes routine and custom reporting, predictive modeling, outcomes analysis, and research. Len collaborates with RRI on a variety of research projects, particularly related to the MONDO initiative.
Fansan studied biomedical signal processing as well as design of biomedical instrumentation at the Department of Bioengineering, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, China from 1992-1996. He was Vice President in Wuhan Miyou Medical Instrument Co., Ltd. Wuhan, China from 1981 to 1989. His research interests are body fluid dynamics and body composition, modeling of electrical properties in tissue and the application of bioimpedance technique for estimating normal hydration in dialysis patients. He is the author of over forty peer-reviewed papers in highly ranked professional journals and is an inventor on six U.S. patents.
In May of 2013, Anna received a Doctoral Degree in Biology at the Westphalian Wilhelms-University Münster, Germany. During her doctoral studies funded by the International Graduate School “Molecular Interactions of Pathogens with Biotic and Abiotic Surfaces” (GRK1409) she investigated the mechanisms underlying viral genome transfer through the nuclear barrier. Furthermore, she worked on a controlled increase of the nuclear pore permeability at the Institute of Physiology II in Münster. Anna joined RRI as a Research fellow in May of 2014, and brings five years of basic research experience to the RRI team. Her research activities and interests include intradialytic vascular refill, interdialytic activity, calcium and phosphate regulation as well as sodium balance.
Maggie graduated with a bachelor’s degree from New York University where she studied economics and pre-medical sciences. During her time at New York University, Maggie studied the inheritance of epigenetics in fission yeasts. She is currently examining how to improve physical activity in hemodialysis patients. She is very excited to learn from her first experience in clinical research.
Hanjie Zhang, a Statistician joined RRI in June 2014. She works in the RRI’s Research division on a variety of projects, and also work on the predictive modeling, including generalized linear models, generalized additive models, tree models, SVM, KNN, and K means. She graduated from Columbia University with a Master Degree in Statistics in Oct. 2013. Prior to working at RRI, Hanjie worked in Columbia University Medical Center for 4 years with experiences in environmental health related research and data analysis.
Vaibhav Maheshwari joined RRI as an research fellow in August 2014. He is a chemical engineer by training and received his PhD from the National University of Singapore. After his PhD, he was a research fellow in Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School where he worked in the area of Design of experiments for computer simulations. His PhD research focused on toxin kinetic modeling and model based design of experiments. Vaibhav designed and executed pilot clinical trials related to studying the effect of intra-dialytic exercise on physiological changes and studying the effect of dialysate temperature on toxin removal. He brings 6 years of inter-disciplinary research experience in mathematical modeling, model-based design of experiments, optimization, and multi-variate statistical data analysis. His current research in RRI focuses on kinetics of protein-bound toxins and acetate-bicarbonate balance.
Schantel Williams joined the Renal Research Institute as a Clinical Research Coordinator in September 2015. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from New York University in 2009. Prior to joining, RRI she spent 5 years working as a research coordinator in an Alzheimer’s Disease Center. After receiving her RN license she worked as a Research Nurse and Director of Study Coordination at NYU’s Center for Brain Health. The center’s focus was diagnosis and assessment of risk for Alzheimer’s disease through a variety of neuroimaging techniques as well as the analysis of biomarkers. She managed a group of 4 coordinators and up to 5 research interns who worked on protocols funded by the National Institute of Health as well as Phase 3 Clinical Trials. In addition she assisted in the writing and preparation of these grants from the protocol development portion to the planning of the budgets. She brings over a decade of clinical research experience to RRI and will play a key role in the execution of studies in our clinical research portfolio.
Xiaoling joined RRI as a Clinical Systems Database Analyst in October 2014 to support the day to day data analytical activities of the research group. She received her Masters degree of Public Health from Tulane University in May 2014. Before she joined RRI, Xiaoling was working two years in clinical research, epidemiology research and data analysis.
Xia Tao joined the RRI team in October 2015 as Sr. Biomedical Research Scientist. She received her medical training in Guangxi Medical University in China and research training in University of Massachusetts Lowell prior to joining in RRI. Xia brings eight years of research experience to RRI, both from academia and industry. In her role as Sr. Biomedical Research Scientist, Xia leverages her extensive experience with laboratory science to head RRI’s research laboratory. Her specialties include small molecule drug R&D, bioanalysis and biomedical engineering for dialysis therapy. In addition, Xia is also involved in the design and execution of clinical research projects at RRI.
Hannah joined RRI as a Regulatory Coordinator in March 2015. She received her Bachelors of Science from Boston University in 2012. Prior to joining RRI, she worked first as a Clinical Research Coordinator studying rare endocrine disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital then as a Project Manager for a health-care start-up in New York City concentrating on Phase 2 & 3 pharmaceutical clinical research trials in a variety of therapeutic areas. She has extensive experience working with regulatory bodies and brings that expertise to her role. Her long term interests are to pursue a career where she can advocate for vulnerable populations in a clinical research setting.
Jie Ma joined the RRI team in July 2015 as a medical fellow. In 2004 he received the MD degree from the “Tongji Medical University” in Wuhan, China, and successfully completing his residence and nephrology fellowship at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China. Dr. Ma is an attending doctor of Peking Union Medical College in Beijing. He is a member of the ASN (American Society of Nephrology). Prior arriving at the Renal Research Institute, Dr. Ma worked in various research projects related to CKD bone disorders and nutrition status in hemodialysis patients. His main interest at RRI is focused in vascular access evaluation for renal replacement therapies.
Alice joined RRI as a Health Data Analyst in September 2015. She provides data management and analytical support for research and operations. Alice obtained her Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in May 2015 where she concentrated in epidemiology. Prior to joining RRI Alice worked for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of Vital Statistics and Department of Mental Health, in Research and Evaluation.
Michael Geller joined the RRI team as an Administrative Assistant in the summer of 2015 after several years working in social services, lastly for the Renewjerseystronger grant program which helped aid the reconstruction and rehabilitation of homes for those affected by Superstorm Sandy. Michael graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Urban Studies from Hunter College in 2004.
Samir was born in London, England. He moved to California in 1998, and received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of California, Riverside in 2008. He did a summer research internship during his undergraduate studies involving the transmission of West Nile Virus in aedes aegypti mosquitos. In 2015 he received his medical degree from the Medical University of Lublin, Poland. After which he joined the RRI team in October 2015 as a research intern. He is a member of the American College of Physicians, and the American Society of Nephrology. His involvement in research at RRI includes projects in epidemiology and clinical research involving dialysis. He later plans to pursue a residency in Internal Medicine, and then specialize into Nephrology, and also continue his research career.