Research Overview

The Nephrology Division at the University of Iowa  has a robust clinical and basic research program in areas including polycystic kidney disease, renal genetics, complement and glomerular diseases, acute kidney injury, fluid and electrolyte transport, mineral metabolism and cardiovascular complications of CKD, as well as numerous clinical trials.

The division’s NIH T32 Training Grant for Kidney and Hypertension research is in its 26th year, which supports MD and PhD trainees in basic or clinical research related to kidney and hypertension in physiology and diseases. Selected MD fellows on the investigative training track will be considered for support by the division to earn a Master’s in Clinical and Translational Science during training.

Fellowship Research and Scholarly Activity

All fellows are expected to demonstrate written evidence of scholarly activity by the end of their 2 years of fellowship training. The divisional Renal Fellow Scholarship and Research Committee was created to provide fellows with a portfolio of research opportunities that meet the research/scholarly activity requirement of the program. The committee reviews all proposals submitted by the fellows, selects projects eligible for funding, guides fellows through a reasonable timeline for successful completion and develops faculty mentors to appropriately guide fellows through their projects.

Examples of activities include case reports, in-depth literature reviews, chart reviews, poster presentations, and quality improvement projects. Recent fellow activities include:


Lodhi A, Kumar A, Saqlain M, Suneja M. Thrombotic Microangiopathy Associated with Proteasome Inhibitors. Clin Kidney J 2015; 8: 632-636.

Sanghvi Y, Somers D. Blastomyces Dermatitidis Peritonitis Complicating Peritoneal Dialysis. Semin Dial 2017 Sep; 30(5): 453-455.

Story M, Ten Eyck P, Kuppachi S.  Opinions of Health Care Personnel Regarding Disincentives and Incentives for Living Kidney Donation at a Single Center.  Transplantation Proceedings June 2018 50(10).

Patel J, Kuppachi, S. AKI in a Patient with Cerebral Toxoplasmosis/American Society of Nephrology. Kidney360 April 2020, 1 (4) 316-317.

Patel J, Swee, M. Neurotoxoplasmosis mimicking primary brain malignancy. IDCases. 2020; 21: e00767. Published online 2020 May 15.

Thomas, C, Freese, M, Ounda A, Jetton, J, Holida, M, Noureddine, L, Smith, R. Initial experience from a renal genetics clinic demonstrates a distinct role in patient management. Genetics Medicine 22, 1025-1035 (2020).

Oo S, Freese, M, Holanda, D, Thomas, C. Spontaneous remission of genetic, apparent primary FSGS presenting with nephrotic syndrome challenges traditional notions of primary FSGS. Submitted to Clinical Kidney Journal 2020. 

Poster Presentations

  1. Actinomyces neuii Peritonitis in Peritoneal Dialysis:  A Rare and Likely Underrecognized Opportunistic Infection (Oo, Patel, Swee).  ASN 2019
  2. Spontaneous remission of genetic, apparent primary, FSGS presenting with nephrotic syndrome challenges traditional notions of primary and genetic FSGS. (Oo, S., Patel, J., Freese, M., Thomas C.P).  ASN 2019
  3. Donor Derived Cell Free DNA Positivity—Does it Always Mean Rejection? Sambharia, Sureshkumar, Aramada, Chopra.  ASN 2019
  4. Neuro-toxoplasmosis After Kidney-Pancreas Transplantation (Patel, Oo, Kirby, Swee). ASN 2019
  5. What is the Cause of this Patient’s Hypertension?  (Oo, Hegeman).  NKF 2020
  6. Streptococcus oralis Peritonitis in Peritoneal Dialysis: A Truly Nail-Biting Experience.  (Oo, Patel, Noureddine).  NKF 2020
  7. Emphysematous Pyelonephritis with Incidental Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Disease
  8. "Severe Hyponatremia with Intraoperative Desmopressin Use In (Deceased and Living Donor) Renal Transplant Recipients". (Gill, Thomas, Kuppachi) ATC 2018
  9. ANCA-Associated Vasculitis through the Continuum of Age:  A Retrospective Chart Review (Gill, B Kumar, Strouse, Swee, Suneja).  ASN 2018
  10.  Pregnancy Outcomes in ANCA-Associated Vasculitis: A Retrospective Review  (Swee, Strouse, Gill, Suneja, B Kumar).  ASN 2018
  11. NKF poster Boston 2019:  Pregnancy induced DI (Gill, Kumar, Huang). NKF 2019
  12. Treatment of Severe Hypercalcemia Using Calcium Free Fluids in CRRT (Kumar, Gill, Swee): ADC 2019
  13. Treatment of Severe Hyperkalemia and Hyponatremia Using Continuous Venovenous Hemodialysis (Kumar, Swee).  ADC 2019

QI projects:

  1. Renal Biopsy Consent Form Update in EPIC. Abhishek Kumar 2015
  2. Transplant Snapshot Update in EPIC. Yogesh Kiranraj Sanghvi 2016
  3. Renal Hand-off in EPIC:  Mandeep Gill 2019
  4. Improving COC Renal Clinic Wait Times: Sambharia 2019


  1. Certification from the IHI Open School for Health Professionals in the areas of improvement capability, patient safety, leadership, person- and family- centered care, triple aim for populations and quality/cost and value. Melissa Swee 2016
  2. The American Society of HTN Certified Hypertension Clinician (ASH-CHC Certification). Melissa Swee 2016

Masters in Medical Education

Masters in Medical Education candidate with expected completion spring 2017. Melissa Swee