"Nephrology is a bit of an under-appreciated field because the kidneys do so much. And it’s not until people have advanced kidney disease or a complication that people really pay attention to it."
Pioneering kidney disease research
Dr. Katie Wang chose to specialize in nephrology, the study of the kidneys and kidney diseases, so that she could help a diverse population overcome a relatively silent disease.
“Nephrology is a bit of an under-appreciated field because the kidneys do so much. And it’s not until people have advanced kidney disease or a complication that people really pay attention to it,” Dr. Wang said.
As the 2018-2019 American Kidney Fund Clinical Scientist in Nephrology (CSN) fellow, Dr. Wang received grant money to pursue research in the field of nephrology. Her research project, entitled SPRINTing to intensive blood pressure targets: when, for whom, and how?, evaluates the effects of controlling blood pressure on kidney function for patients with chronic kidney disease.
Although dedicated researchers like Dr. Wang are working to better understand kidney disease and to improve diagnosis, treatment and outcomes, there is still a long way to go.
“Dialysis hasn’t really changed too much since the 1940s. Initiatives like KidneyX, where we’re trying to bring better methods and innovation to the treatment of kidney disease, are much needed,” Dr. Wang said.
Now in its third decade, the CSN program continues to fund nephrology’s brightest scholars. Many former CSN fellows have conducted groundbreaking research that advances knowledge and treatment of kidney disease.
Thanks to researchers like Dr. Wang, there is real hope for improving the lives of people with kidney disease and one day living in a world without it.