ASN Announces Inaugural Midcareer Award Winners

Distinguished Clinical Service Award

Award Criteria

  • Recognizes individuals who combine the art of medicine with the skills demanded by the scientific body of knowledge in service to patients.
  • Exemplifies leadership and excellence in the practice of nephrology and whose time is spent primarily in the delivery of patient care.
  • Has initiated or been involved in volunteer programs or has provided volunteer service post-training.

Duvuru Geetha, MD, FASN


Dr. Geetha is associate professor of medicine in the division of nephrology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She is associate director for the Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center and does clinical and translational research in vasculitis, with a focus on ANCA-associated vasculitis and kidney disease. Dr. Geetha served as a clinical investigator in multi-center clinical trials in vasculitis, including the RAVE trial, which led to the approval of rituximab for treatment of ANCA vasculitis.

For ASN, Dr. Geetha served on the ASN Postgraduate Education Committee from 2015 to 2018. She is a member of the Nephrology Self-Assessment Program (NephSAP) review panel and a member of the ASN Kidney Health Initiative, focusing on glomerular disease. Dr. Geetha is involved through her work with the Vasculitis Foundation in increasing awareness among patients and physicians about the diagnosis and treatment of vasculitis. She has lectured at national and international vasculitis patient care symposia to educate patients about early detection of renal vasculitis and treatment options.

Dr. Geetha is a peer reviewer for several nephrology and rheumatology journals. She has served as a professional development award grant reviewer for the Vasculitis Foundation and Kidney Research U.K. as well as an abstract reviewer for the American Society of Transplantation and ASN Kidney Week.

A graduate of Madras Medical College, India, she completed postgraduate internal medicine training in the U.K. She completed her internal medicine residency in York, Penn., and her nephrology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at Hopkins in 1998.

Jay L. Koyner, MD


Dr. Koyner is associate professor of medicine in the nephrology section at the University of Chicago. He is medical director of the inpatient dialysis unit and director of the nephrology ICU.

Over the past decade, he has served in many roles for ASN, including as a member of the Acute Kidney Injury Advisory Group, co-director of the critical care nephrology Early Program, and co-editor of the Nephrology Self-Assessment Program (NephSAP) for acute kidney injury and critical care nephrology. He is currently a faculty member of ASN Highlights.

He has served on the editorial boards of CJASN, American Journal of Nephrology, and Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease.

Dr. Koyner’s critical care nephrology research has focused on the use of plasma and urine biomarkers to improve patient risk stratification and outcomes in the setting of acute kidney injury (AKI). He has contributed to several multicenter studies investigating biomarkers of AKI, including the TRIBE-AKI study, the Furosemide Stress Test study, and several industry-sponsored investigations. He recently began developing an electronic health record–derived AKI risk score, with the goal of improving the care of patients at high risk for developing severe hospital-acquired AKI.

He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on AKI and the care of kidney injury patients in the ICU.

Dr. Koyner received his medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he also received a degree with distinction in research following completion of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research fellowship. He completed his internal medicine and nephrology training at the University of Chicago.

Distinguished Educator Award

Award Criteria

  • Honors individuals who have made substantial and meritorious contributions in clinical or research education as it relates to nephrology on both the local and national levels.
  • Has made significant contributions to the education and training of trainees and/or junior faculty.
  • Has acquired special knowledge and keeps abreast of the latest advances in clinical care or research through participation in lifelong learning.

Kambiz Kalantari, MD, MS


Dr. Kalantari is associate professor of medicine in the division of nephrology at the University of Virginia (UVA).

He began his focus on medical education in 2010. He participated in the UVA school of medicine’s overhaul of its teaching curriculum, and since then has served as the course director of the renal system in the pre-clerkship curriculum.

Since 2012, he has served as the UVA nephrology fellowship director. In addition to his teaching and administrative responsibilities in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, he contributes to training junior faculty across a range of disciplines through faculty development workshops in medical education.

Nationally, he has served as a member of the ASN In-Training Exam Test Materials Development Committee and Career Advancement Committee.

Dr. Kalantari completed his medical training at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran before traveling to the United States in 1995. He completed his internal medicine residency at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Maryland and his nephrology fellowship at UVA, before joining the UVA faculty in 2002. In 2007, he received an NIH career development award in clinical research that permitted him to complete a master’s degree in clinical research and also conduct human and animal research in the field of contrast ultrasonography.

Stephen M. Sozio, MD, FASN


Dr. Sozio is associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and serves in multiple educational roles at his institution, nationally, and internationally.

He is a medical school course director for two courses covering the preclinical. He is also one of the core faculty advisors who guides students from their first day of medical school through graduation; he has advised 68 students and serves as one of the college’s faculty leaders.

He is associate director of the Hopkins nephrology fellowship program and teaches an adult learning course in the school of education. He has taught or developed educational programs in eight different countries, including Turkey, Israel, Qatar, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan.

Dr. Sozio has made many contributions to ASN in education. He was a member of the workforce committee and is currently on the Workforce and Training Committee. He co-leads the Students and Residents (STARS) program at Kidney Week, chairs the ASN Data Subcommittee, and is Principal Investigator of the ASN Nephrology Fellow Survey. He has been on the planning committee for the Nephrology Training Program Retreat.

Dr. Sozio has received several awards at Johns Hopkins for his contributions to education, including the Lisa J. Heiser Award for Junior Faculty Contribution in Education, Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award, and the W. Barry Wood Jr. Award for Excellence in Teaching.

He received his medical degree as well as master’s degrees in epidemiology and education from Johns Hopkins University. He completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania and a nephrology fellowship at Johns Hopkins.

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.

Deidra C. Crews, MD, MS, FASN


Dr. Crews is associate professor of medicine in the division of nephrology and associate vice chair for diversity and inclusion at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She holds faculty appointments with the school of nursing; the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research; the Center on Aging and Health; and the Center for Health Equity, where she is associate director for research development.

Dr. Crews has chaired the Johns Hopkins department of medicine diversity council since 2013. In this capacity she directs efforts to enhance recruitment and retention of under-represented minority faculty and trainees and promotes civility and inclusiveness. She is the founding director of the doctoral diversity program at Johns Hopkins, a research-intensive post-baccalaureate program for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

She chairs the ASN Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a member of the nephrology board of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Crews has received numerous awards for her research addressing disparities in chronic kidney disease and hypertension, including the Johns Hopkins University President’s Frontier Award—a $250,000 award granted to a faculty scholar who is on the cusp of transforming their field. She has examined how the social determinants of health—including poverty and access to healthful foods—contribute to disparities in kidney disease.

She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine and was the academy’s inaugural Gilbert S. Omenn Anniversary Fellow. Dr. Crews also received the W. Lester Henry Award for Diversity and Access to Care from the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Crews received her medical degree from Saint Louis University. She completed a nephrology fellowship and a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology at Johns Hopkins.

Daniel E. Weiner, MD, MS, FASN


Dr. Weiner is a nephrologist at Tufts Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.

His research interests include cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease in people with kidney disease as well as dialysis epidemiology. He was a site principal investigator on the National Institutes of Health-funded systolic blood pressure intervention trial (SPRINT). He is the principal investigator with Dialysis Clinic Inc. of a trial of oral nutritional supplements in more than 11,000 in-center hemodialysis patients. He is collaborating with a team at Boston University to investigate the epidemic of CKD in Nicaragua that disproportionately affects young men of working age.

Dr. Weiner was deputy editor of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases and is currently editor-in-chief of both Kidney Medicine and the Primer on Kidney Diseases.

He has participated in multiple guideline-writing groups, controversies meetings, and technical expert panels. His activities with ASN include serving on the dialysis advisory group, on the public policy board, and as the inaugural chair of the Quality Committee. He is currently ASN’s representative to Kidney Care Partners, and is dedicated to improving systems and policies to benefit kidney patients.

Dr. Weiner received his medical degree from Tufts. He completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at the University of Maryland. He returned to Tufts for a nephrology fellowship, at which time he also obtained a master’s degree in clinical care research with a biostatistics concentration.

Distinguished Mentor Award

Award Criteria

  • Recognizes individuals who have made contributions to the kidney community through the mentorship and development of other clinicians or researchers.
  • Inspires trainees to pursue nephrology and become leaders in the transformation of healthcare through innovations in research, education, and practice.

Tamara Isakova, MD, MMSc


Dr. Isakova is associate professor of medicine in the division of nephrology and hypertension and director of the Center for Translational Metabolism and Health within the Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Isakova conducts clinical research in the area of disordered mineral metabolism in chronic kidney disease. She has received research support from the American Kidney Fund, American Heart Association, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, and ASN.

In addition to her research, she provides clinical care for patients with CKD, bone and mineral metabolism disorders, and kidney stones.

Dr. Isakova is a leader in postdoctoral training and has mentored medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty, many of whom are developing independent research programs focused on improving clinical outcomes for patients with kidney diseases.

Among her honors, she delivered the Jack W. Coburn Endowed Lectureship at ASN Kidney Week in 2017.

Dr. Isakova earned her medical degree from State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine and a master of medical science from Harvard Medical School. She completed internal medicine training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a nephrology fellowship at the combined Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital program.

Michal L. Melamed, MD, MHS


Dr. Melamed is associate professor of medicine and associate professor of epidemiology and population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center.

Dr. Melamed has mentored high school students, college students, medical students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty members since joining the faculty at Albert Einstein.

She served as the director of residency research for the internal medicine program and has directed the nephrology fellowship program since 2012.

She has received many teaching and mentorship awards at Einstein-Montefiore. Her mentees have published numerous manuscripts and successfully competed for National Institutes of Health (NIH) and foundation career development and independent investigator grants.

Dr. Melamed’s research interests include risk factors for progression of kidney disease, metabolic acidosis, vitamin D, and health services interventions to improve kidney disease outcomes. She has been continuously funded by NIH since 2007 and has authored more than 80 publications, many with associates she has mentored as first author. She is the principal investigator of an NIH grant aimed at training junior investigators for research in kidney disease.

She received her medical degree and completed her internal medicine and nephrology training at Johns Hopkins. During her fellowship, she obtained a master’s degree in health sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Distinguished Researcher Award

Award Criteria

  • Recognizes individuals who have made substantial research contributions to the discipline of nephrology.
  • Displays innovation and excellence in research to advance the science and/or practice of nephrology.

Laurence H. Beck, Jr., MD, PhD


Dr. Beck is associate professor in the department of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and a practicing nephrologist at Boston Medical Center.

During his nephrology research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. David Salant at Boston Medical Center, Dr. Beck investigated membranous nephropathy. The researchers identified the target antigen in adult primary membranous nephropathy as the M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R1), as they reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009. This report stimulated a new wave of investigations into the pathogenesis of membranous nephropathy as well as the clinical use of anti-PLA2R1 autoantibodies for the diagnosis and monitoring of disease.

In a second New England Journal of Medicine report, and in collaboration with the Stahl laboratory in Germany and the Lambeau laboratory in France, Dr. Beck’s laboratory described the identification of the second autoantigen in primary membranous nephropathy: thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing 7A (THSD7A).

Dr. Beck continues to collaborate with several research teams nationally and internationally, focusing on the humoral responses to PLA2R1, THSD7A, and other antigens in autoimmune kidney diseases.

He is a reviewer for CJASN; American Journal of Kidney Diseases; Nephrology, Dialysis, and Transplantation; New England Journal of Medicine; American Journal of Nephrology; and International Journal of Nephrology.

Dr. Beck graduated from Harvard Medical School with a dual medical degree and doctorate in cell and developmental biology. He completed his internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at Boston Medical Center.

David Cherney, MD, PhD

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Dr. Cherney is associate professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto. He is also a clinician scientist and director of the renal physiology laboratory at the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospitals.

Dr. Cherney’s research focuses on the physiological factors that initiate kidney disease in patients with diabetes, such as renal hyperfiltration and inflammation. His research is closely aligned with his integrated and multidisciplinary cardiac-renal-endocrine clinic at the University Health Network, which maintains a strong emphasis on the prevention of diabetic nephropathy and related cardiovascular disease. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

He receives operating funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Heart and Stroke Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and Banting and Best Diabetes Center. He serves on the editorial boards of CJASN and Cardiorenal Medicine.

Dr. Cherney studied medicine at McGill University. He completed his clinical training in nephrology and his doctorate in human renal physiology at the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto.

October/November 2019 (Vol. 11, Number 10 & 11)