History & Development of the Division

History & Development of the Division

First Dialysis in Virginia

firstdialysis.jpgSince the inaugural dialysis in the Commonwealth of Virginia was performed at UVA on March 27, 1959, the University of Virginia has been recognized for its excellence in treating kidney diseases.

Today, patients can receive our full range of services and medical expertise in The UVA Kidney Center.

The Division of Nephrology at the University of Virginia was established in 1959 with Dr. Nuzhet Atuk as first Division Chief, succeeded by Dr. Frederick Westervelt. From 1988 to 2008, under the direction of Dr. W. Kline Bolton, Professor of Medicine, the Division of Nephrology underwent extensive change.

W. Kline Bolton Festschrift

festschrift.jpgOn September 13, 2008, we celebrated Dr. Warren Kline Bolton's many accomplishments as a scientist, clinician and administrator. Under the direction of Dr. Bolton, what began as a fledgling operation of only four faculty members with modest national recognition, training, and research programs, has now developed into a program that balances the three missions of academic activity. As a result, the Division of Nephrology at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, has grown considerably and excels in research, clinical care and education.

The eight leaders in academic nephrology who participated in the Bolton Festschrift are: (top row) John R. Sedor, Bruce C. Kone, Ronald J. Falk, Thomas M. Coffman, Roger C. Wiggins, (bottom row) Mark D. Okusa, William G. Couser, W. Kline Bolton, Edmund J.  Lewis, and David J. Salant.

Sister Programs

Sister ProgramsIn June 2010, the Divisions of Nephrology at St. Bartolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy and the University of Virginia joined as sister programs.  Dr. Claudio Ronco, one of the premier nephrologists in the world is Director of Nephrology at St. Bartolo Hospital, Vicenza.  He was been appointed Visiting Professor of UVA and Drs. Okusa, Rosner, and Bolton have become honorary members of the staff at San Bartolo Hospital, Vicenza.

Shown above (left to right), Drs. W. Kline Bolton, Mitchell H. Rosner, Mark D. Okusa and Claudio Ronco at the opening ceremony of the 19th International Intensive Care Course, Vicenza, Italy, June 2010.

Division Chief and Center Director

okusa.jpgThe Division now consists of a multi-talented cohesive group focused on providing state-of-the-art clinical care, basic and clinical research, education, and disease management for patients with diverse types of kidney disease. On July 1, 2008, Dr. Mark Okusa, John C. Buchanan Distinguished Professor of Medicine, became the fourth Division Chief of Nephrology. He is the principal investigator of several NIH grants including a T32 training grant "Kidney Disease and Inflammation". Dr. Okusa is widely recognized for his leadership in both translational and clinical research in acute kidney injury.  In 2012 he was elected Councilor, American Society of Nephrology for a 7-year term.

Expansion and Growth

The Division of Nephrology has grown from 2 fellows, 4 faculty, 80 dialysis patients and one RO1 in 1988 to a current combined enterprise of the Division of Nephrology and the Center for Immunity, Inflammation and Regenerative Medicine that includes:

  • 8 clinical fellows
  • 23 full-time faculty
  • over 16 postdoctoral fellows/graduate students
  • over 800 dialysis patients including 35 nocturnal dialysis patients
  • NIH/foundation/pharmaceutical grants that have helped us to emerge as a nationally recognized program in all facets of academic nephrology, and basic and clinical immunology; Division of Nephrology faculty members are principal investigators funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Juvenile Diabetes Association, National Kidney Foundation, American Heart Association, and other foundations.

Thematic Research Center

icon_ciir.gifDr. Mark Okusa was appointed Director of the Center for Immunity, Inflammation and Regenerative Medicine (CIIR) in July 1, 2007.  The Center is a Department of Medicine initiative to merge thematic research in the area of immunology and regenerative medicine. The research laboratories of the Division and CIIR were previously housed in the Old Medical School, but much of the research is now in approximately 9,000 sq ft of newly renovated space in Jordan Hall, 4th floor. This space provides state-of-the-art facilities to support translational research in kidney disease and immunology.

ADQI XIII Consesus Conference

ADQI cropThe ADQI XIII Consensus Conference was held in Charlottesville on April 11-13, 2014 at the Boar’s Head Inn.  The topic of the conference was “Therapeutic Targets of Human Acute Kidney Injury: Harmonizing Human and Animal AKI 2014”.  The goal of ADQI XIII was to convene a meeting with:

  1. leading investigators with expertise in basic, translational and clinical acute kidney injury,
  2. industry partners, and
  3. agencies responsible for biomedical/health related research (NIH) public safety (FDA)

and to foster public-private partnerships in promoting kidney health (Kidney Health Initiative, KHI).

Through interactions of AKI stakeholders, we believe that rapid advancement in the identification of “relevant” therapeutic targets can made and tested in appropriate clinical trials.