Overview of the Division

The specialty of Nephrology essentially began at NYU School of Medicine more than 80 years ago with the collaboration between the legendary renal physiologist Dr. Homer W. Smith and Dr. William Goldring and Dr. Herbert Chasis, members of the Department of Medicine. (See Nephrology History).

The principles established by this pioneering work remain the cornerstone of the Division of Nephrology and its core mission: to train graduates for careers in academic Nephrology and clinical practice, to advance knowledge of kidney disease and its treatment, and to provide outstanding patient care at NYU's teaching hospitals.

To accomplish these goals, the Division of Nephrology has established a core group of outstanding physicians and physician scientists who work towards making basic discoveries in the lab and subsequently translating these discoveries into new therapies for patients with kidney diseases.

The Division of Nephrology offers a broad range of medical services for patients with kidney disease, with expertise in chronic kidney disease, glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, lupus, HIVAN, renal and hepatic transplantation, renal pathology, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, electrolyte and acid-base disorders, and kidney stones.

The Division’s unusual breadth, unique in New York City, is the result of having three very different hospitals with very different patient demographics, in a relatively small 11-block section of First Avenue. Bellevue Hospital is New York City’s premier municipal hospital, embodying 200 years of public service, attracting the people of New York to receive cutting edge tertiary care. Tisch Hospital is an award-winning private hospital (named by US News & World Report to the “Honor Roll” of the nation’s top 21 hospitals) with advanced kidney and hepatic transplantation programs, cardiovascular medicine and a leading cancer center. The New York VA Medical Center is the Department of Veterans Affairs’ regional center for cardiovascular surgery and cardiologic intervention, neurosurgery, urology and nephrolithiasis.

Few programs offer this degree of diversity of patient mix and renal pathology. The close proximity of the three hospitals offers a compact experience that keeps fellows and staff immersed in the activities of all of them and permits full attendance at the Division’s conferences and rounds.

Under the leadership of Edward Skolnik, a leading contributor to the rapidly evolving field of cell signaling, the focus of the Nephrology Division has turned to an understanding of the cellular, genetic, and immunologic bases for renal and hypertensive diseases with the view that new diagnostic categories and treatments of renal disease will soon be based on their underlying molecular abnormalities. Studies currently in progress address the role of K+ channels in regulating the immune responses in autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection, and the underlying cellular mechanisms in adult polycystic renal disease.

The patient diversity of the three medical centers also supports active research programs in clinical nephrology. Dr. David Goldfarb is a national authority on nephrolithiasis with two weekly stone clinics and a variety of clinical research programs in progress. Dr. Manish Ponda is examining the effects of uremia on the evolution of atherosclerosis and the effects of vitamin D supplementation on chronic kidney disease. Dr. Irina Barash has begun a polycystic kidney disease program applying new radiologic techniques to clinical care as well as investigating the physiological properties of patients with PKD. Dr. Olga Zhdanova and Dr. Laura Barisoni are involved in collaborative efforts to understand the pathophysiology of podocytopathies. Dr. Lada Beara-Lasic is studying how disparities in healthcare coverage affect the management of end stage renal disease, and establishing a registry to study the clinical outcomes of patients with Dent disease. Finally, Dr. Alexander Gilbert is collaborating with the Department of Emergency Medicine to develop new techniques for organ harvesting that could significantly increase the availability of deceased donor kidneys.

The Division of Nephrology’s rich history, unique physical environment and patient base, enhanced by the current cutting edge research efforts, provide a distinctive learning environment for teaching and the provision of world-class patient care.

Chief of Nephrology: Dr. Edward Y. Skolnik

Clinical Chief of Nephrology: Dr. David S. Goldfarb