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Nephrology Research

Physician-researchers in the Tufts Medical Center William B. Schwartz Division of Nephrology lead the way in conducting clinical research to define chronic kidney disease and have written the guidelines for its medical management.


We are dedicated to improving the lives of patients and our aims are to eradicate individual kidney diseases where possible, identify effective treatments and reduce the burden of kidney disease on society.  The three main areas of our emphasis are epidemiology, clinical trials, and outcomes research.

We work with a wide range of external collaborators from academia, industry, and government and non-governmental organizations to conduct our research focused on solving clinical problems. Each research project has a domain expert, in most cases a nephrologist, a methods expert, and collaborators from other disciplines.

Division members collaborate with methods experts to use the most appropriate and rigorous research methods. Our domain experts include individuals with expertise in chronic kidney disease, assessing kidney function, aging, nutrition, dialysis and transplantation, kidney disease progression, polycystic kidney disease, acute kidney injury and hypertension.

View our recent publications on these topics

Clinical trials

Physicians in the Division undertake clinical trials in patients with chronic kidney disease to yield new information to answer difficult clinical questions.  Many of these trials are large, multicenter undertakings with funding from either NIH or the pharmaceutical industry.

Recent clinical trials include the HALT Progression in PKD, part of the Polycystic Kidney Disease Clinical Trials Network); the TEMPO 3/4 study, addressing the efficacy of the vasopressin-receptor antagonist tolvaptan to slow progression of polycystic kidney disease; and the Blood Pressure in Dialysis (BID) Study

Historically, physician-scientists in the Division have participated in landmark clinical trials such as the NIDDK-sponsored MDRD (Modification of Diet in Renal Disease) Study, a randomized trial of diet and blood pressure control in CKD and the Hemodialysis (HEMO) Study, comparing the standard dose of dialysis with high dose of dialysis.

Epidemiology research

Members of the Division of Nephrology at Tufts Medical Center have long been interested in the epidemiology of chronic kidney disease and its related conditions.  Their efforts are wide-ranging.

Work has included developing estimating equations to assess kidney function which has allowed for prevalence estimates to be calculated in the US population; understanding how small changes in estimated kidney function affect patients’ risks of cardiovascular disease; and the influence of hemodialysis treatment on cognitive functioning.  International efforts are assessing the epidemiology of chronic kidney disease in developing countries.

Outcomes research

In addition to epidemiological pursuits and clinical trials, Division members participate in research related to clinical effectiveness, quality management in dialysis organizations; meta-analysis, and the patient-based outcomes of experience of care and quality of life.

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