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Bridget M Kuehn

Only about one-third of the staff in the dialysis program at the University of Virginia Health system has been vaccinated against coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) so far, according to the program’s administrator, Debbie Cote, BN, MSN. The main reason for the slow uptake is that many are concerned about the speed of the vaccines’ development process and the lack of information about long-term side effects, Cote said in an interview with Kidney News.

“From my own staff, what I’ve heard is they would take the vaccine, but they don’t want to be first,” said Nancy Colobong Smith,

Eric Seaborg

Dropping the use of the race coefficient in estimating the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) from serum creatinine would significantly increase the number of Black patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and result in about one-third of CKD patients being reclassified to a more severe stage, according to a pair of recent studies.

“Both papers try to estimate the impact of removing the race multiplier in terms of how many patients would be impacted by a reclassification in CKD stage,” said Mallika Mendu, MD, MBA, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and co-author of a study published in the October

Older adult kidney transplant recipients may benefit from lower-intensity, steroid-sparing immunosuppression regimens that better take into account recipient and donor characteristics, according to a nationwide database study in Transplantation.

The percentage of kidney transplants in older adults has increased dramatically in recent years, yet immunosuppressive management in this age group is challenging and little evidence exists to guide clinical decision-making.

With the use of data from the US Renal Data System, the researchers identified 67,632 patients with Medicare claims for immunosuppression after kidney transplantation in 2015−2016. Induction and maintenance immunosuppressive drugs were classified into seven regimens and analyzed

Bridget M. Kuehn

As former assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the US Department of Health and Human Services, Nicole Lurie, MD, MSPH, has learned that the key to a successful crisis response is having a plan and strong day-to-day systems in place before disaster strikes.

“If your day-to-day system is strong, you are going to do better than if it is not—coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is no exception,” Lurie said during the Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined session “Policy in a Post-COVID World.” Lurie gave the Christopher Blagg, MD, endowed lecture in Kidney Diseases and Public Policy during the session. She co-chairs the

Karen Blum

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on issues of racial inequality, said Nicole Lurie, MD, MSPH, former Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services. “The excess mortality in Black, Latinx, and Native American populations has been absolutely staggering compared to white populations,” she said. “This has coincided with a very challenging and emotional national dialogue about race and racial injustice, structural inequality, and racism.”

Lurie gave the Christopher R. Blagg, MD, Endowed Lectureship in Kidney Diseases and Public Policy as part of the “Policy in a Post-COVID World” session.

Race-based patient disparities

Eric Seaborg

As the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating and healthcare providers struggle to find effective treatments, valuable information is accumulating in electronic health records (EHRs). Researchers used this information—in observational studies—early in the pandemic when an alarm was raised that blood pressure medications based on renin-angiotensin system inhibition posed a theoretic threat to COVID-19 patients. Studies that mined EHRs found no signal of harm to patients who continued to take these medications. Expert guidelines quickly reflected this.

Clinical trials are difficult to run during a pandemic, making the information from EHRs and other forms of real-world data (RWD) poised

ASN’s Midcareer Awards recognize individuals who have made substantial and significant contributions in a variety of areas early in their professional lives.

The awards recognize up to three winners in each of five categories: clinical service, education, leadership, mentorship, and research.

Distinguished Leader Award Award Criteria

■ Has sustained achievements in leadership and advanced ASN’s mission to “lead the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality of care for patients.”

■ Recognizes leadership in any number of areas of medicine, including clinical, educational, research, or administrative efforts.

Holly J.

Kidney Week Reimagined: A Fully Digital Meeting

ASN has been honored to host the world’s premier meeting in nephrology for 50+ years. While we have all enjoyed the various sites at which past annual meetings have taken place, Kidney Week has not succeeded because of a specific location.

This year’s meeting is offered in a fully online format with educational presentations delivered live-streamed, simulive, and on-demand; ePosters; digital exhibit hall; virtual networking opportunities; and more. Annual Meeting content will launch October 22, recorded, and will be available on the meeting website through December 4.

Questions? Check out FAQs, or email

Josef Coresh, MD, PhD

The Belding H. Scribner Award will be tendered to Josef Coresh, MD, PhD, for his career-long contributions to the practice of nephrology. Dr. Coresh is the George W. Comstock Professor of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He also directs the cardiovascular epidemiology training program and the George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention.

Established in 1995, the Belding H. Scribner Award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the care of patients with kidney disorders or have substantially influenced the clinical

Ashita Tolwani, MD, MSc

The title of the Burton D. Rose, MD, Endowed Lectureship will be “Managing Electrolyte Abnormalities on Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT).” The speaker will be Ashita Tolwani, MD, MSc, professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The lecture is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 22.

“My research focus is on the clinical aspects of CRRT in the treatment of acute kidney injury in the ICU and more specifically with the use of citrate anticoagulation,” Dr. Tolwani said. “UAB has been a pioneering research institution in CRRT. We currently have 25 CRRT machines providing