Training Program in Transplant Nephrology

Under the direction of Dr. Michelle Josephson and Dr. Patrick Cunningham, the Section of Nephrology offers 12 months of specialized training in Transplant Nephrology. The goal of the program is to provide standardized transplant training to individuals who wish to lead renal transplant programs. The program was initially accredited in 1999 and reaccredited in March 2003, May 2007, November 2012, and recently reaccredited in 2015 by the American Society of Transplant (AST). In order to participate in the Nephrology Transplant program individuals must be board eligible or board certified nephrologists.

The educational program is comprised of clinical service, informal teaching, and more formalized classroom or conference teaching components. The clinical service time is divided between an inpatient and outpatient experience. The inpatient portion of the fellow’s schedule includes six months on the inpatient kidney/kidney-pancreas service and exposure to extra-renal transplantation. The remaining months of the training year will be spent as follows: 1 month of intensive transplant pathology service, and 3 months of research/scholarly activities, and up to 1 month in the Transplant Immunology Lab. Exposure to extra-renal transplantation is provided and an optional 2 weeks in the pediatric transplant clinic can be arranged if desired. In compliance with the training requirements, the fellow will observe at least three organ procurement procedures and three transplants. The fellow will participate in one or more scholarly projects, which may include retrospective chart reviews, short clinical studies, or literature reviews. The fellow is allotted one month of vacation. The fellow will attend three weekly post-transplant clinics and one living kidney donor clinic per week, and one recipient evaluation clinic per month. All renal transplant patients are managed in the post-transplant clinic for one year following transplantation. The fellow is expected to care for at least 30 outpatient recipients over the course of the year and perform kidney biopsies and interpret them with the pathologist when appropriate. He or she also evaluates potential transplant recipients and living donors at one of the weekly pre-transplant clinics. The fellow communicates with the transplant team about active problems in patients under their care, at the weekly multidisciplinary clinical meetings.

The didactic portion of the training includes informal discussions on transplant topics, weekly teaching sessions with the transplant surgeons, monthly transplant pathology sessions, bi-monthly journal clubs, immunology series for residents and fellows, and attendance at the fellowship teaching conferences which includes transplant topics. Each year the nephrology section invites nationally and internationally recognized researchers and clinicians to teach us about their areas. Fellows are expected to actively participate in the research seminar series not only by attending but also by giving a research seminar on their project and clinical renal grand rounds at the clinical forums.

The clinical program integrates with the didactic sessions in several ways. First, topics discussed at the teaching sessions are directly applicable to patient care. Second, subject matter reviewed at the weekly surgical teaching session and the monthly transplant pathology sessions are based on cases taken from the clinical service. In the case of the latter conference this is a unique live case based teaching conference, run with collaboration by the renal pathologists. It uses current transplant cases to teach immunology, immunosuppression, and post-transplant complications, transplant developments and renal pathology. Fellows are responsible for preparing a summary for the case each month.

There are additional activities that fellows can electively participate in. These include (but are not limited to) attending courses at the graduate school of immunology, the pathology research seminar series and the pediatrics transplant clinic. The fellow will attend the American Transplant Congress meeting during their fellowship. We also encourage attendance at the American Society of Transplantation Fellow’s Symposium.

Although this is not an ACGME approved program, transplant nephrology fellows are evaluated in accordance with the model set forth by the ACGME.

Training Faculty

Nephrology Transplant Faculty:

Michelle Josephson, M.D, Professor of Medicine
Patrick Cunningham, M.D, Assistant Professor of Medicine

Transplant Surgery:

Yolanda Becker, Professor of Surgery
J. Michael Millis, M.D., Professor of Surgery
John Renz, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Surgery
Piotr Witkowski M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Surgery
Adam Bodzin, M.D., Clinical Associate of Surgery

Transplant Pathology:

Anthony Chang, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology
Kammi Henriksen, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology

Transplant Cardiology:

Gene H. Kim, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine
Nitasha Sarswat, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine

Transplant Hepatology:

Andrew Aronsohn, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine
Gautham Reddy, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine
Helen Te, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine

Transplant Pulmonary:

Edward Garrity Jr, M.D, Professor of Medicine
Remzi Bag M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine
Robert Guzy M.D., PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine

Transplant Immunology:

Susana Marino, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pathology

Former Fellows:

May Chiu, M.D., Nephrologist, Concord, CA
Pradeep Kadambi, M.D., Associate Professor, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ
Rajiv Poduval, M.D., Nephrologist, Scottsdale, AZ
Rajendra Baliga, M.D., Nephrologist, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa Bay, FL
Amandeep Khurana, M.D., Nephrologist, Scottsdale, AZ
Ignatius Tang, M.D., Associate Professor, University of Illinois
Neerja Agrawal, M.D., Nephrologist, Weston, FL
Rebecca Rojas, M.D., Associate Professor & Kidney Pre-Transplantation Medical Director, University of Texas, Dallas, TX
Bradford West, M.D., Nephrologist, Springfield, IL
Nidhi Aggarwal, M.D., Nephrologist, Pearland, TX
Amishi Desai, D.O., Assistant Professor & Kidney Transplant Program Director, Loyola University, Chicago, IL
Hala Alshayeb, M.D., Associate Professor, Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Divya Jain, D.O., Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Abhijit Naik, M.D., MPH, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Talal Khairi, M.D., Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Ling-Xin Chen, M.D., Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis, CA

For more information about the program, please contact:

Michelle Josephson, M.D.,
Director, Nephrology Transplant Fellowship
Section of Nephrology, MC 5100
The University of Chicago
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

How to Apply:

Download application PDF file: Transplant Fellow Application form
After we receive your completed application including four supporting letters (letters must be mailed or emailed to fellowship coordinator by author or author’s administrative assistant), your file will be reviewed and you will be notified regarding the advisability of an interview. Applicants must be eligible for certification in Nephrology by the American Board of Internal Medicine and must be licensed by the State of Illinois at the time they begin their fellowship.

Please contact the Nephrology Fellowship Coordinator for deadline information. The last date for interviewing varies year-to-year; however, earlier application submission is encouraged to allow adequate time for scheduling interviews.

Transplant Fellowship Coordinator
Section of Nephrology
The University of Chicago

5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC5100
Chicago, Illinois 60637