ASN Announces Midcareer Award Winners

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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 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


Maureen E. Brogan, MD

Citation: Kidney News 13, 10/11

Dr. Brogan is the clinical director of the Division of Nephrology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, associate professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and medical director of the DaVita Allerton Dialysis Unit.

In her work at Montefiore Medical Center, she has developed new protocols for continuous kidney replacement therapy, improved the medical documentation process, and established new workflows to improve the care of inpatients receiving peritoneal dialysis.

She worked tirelessly in response to the COVID-19 surge in New York to modify services and workflows to address unexpected care and staffing needs. She worked across departments to re-route and train staff, including working with ICU staff to develop alternate ways to provide dialysis such that all patients who needed it received it.

Dr. Brogan has worked to improve the training of nephrology fellows in dialysis catheter placement and has improved their training in a quality improvement initiative.

She served as the director of the nephrology clinic at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY, from 2003 through 2018, where she also served as director of the nephrology fellowship program for 11 years. She received teaching awards from New York Medical College, where she helped to revise the medical school renal pathophysiology curriculum.

Dr. Brogan received her medical degree from the SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn and completed her residency and nephrology fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.


Michelle A. Hladunewich, MD, MS, FASN

Citation: Kidney News 13, 10/11

Dr. Hladunewich is professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, physician-in-chief at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and medical lead for Ontario Renal Network glomerulonephritis and specialty clinics.

A recognized expert in the diagnosis and management of kidney disease in pregnancy as well as glomerulonephritis, Dr. Hladunewich built the largest pregnancy and kidney disease clinic in Canada. In conjunction with a maternal fetal medicine clinic, she manages over 100 high-risk pregnancies annually and consults across the globe.

She has also applied this multidisciplinary care model to patients with severe forms of glomerulonephritis. One of the six specialty clinics of excellence recognized by the Ontario Renal Network, Sunnybrook manages more than 500 complex patients annually referred from other renal programs.

Her clinical and research program in women's health and rare glomerular diseases has led to an extensive peer-reviewed publication record and an international reputation.

She has taught extensively locally, nationally, and internationally, giving over 100 lectures across the globe invited by international societies, including keynote addresses and visiting professorships.

She received the Human Touch Award by Cancer Care Ontario and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Council Award.

Dr. Hladunewich completed her medical degree at the University of Alberta, her internal medicine training at the University of Toronto, and her critical care and nephrology fellowships at Stanford University Medical Center. She also received a Master of Science in clinical investigation at Stanford University.

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


Ursula C. Brewster, MD

Citation: Kidney News 13, 10/11

Dr. Brewster is associate professor of medicine and director of the nephrology training program at Yale University School of Medicine.

As a clinician-educator, Dr. Brewster's focus is on the care of patients with kidney disease and on the education of fellows and hospital staff.

In her fellowship program, Dr. Brewster developed a curriculum for teaching complex renal physiology that has resulted in a greater understanding of patient care by fellows, as measured by improved in-training scores.

She created and directs the Peters Medical Firm, a nephrology teaching service for residents. This firm has been repeatedly recognized for its excellence in patient-centered care and is a popular rotation for residents.

Dr. Brewster is on the ASN workforce and training committee. Since 2014, she has served on the planning committee for the annual fellowship program directors retreat, where participants share ideas about innovations in education. She developed an annual session using case-based teaching sessions to help orient new program directors.

In 2019, she traveled to Uganda to launch an educational collaborative with nephrologists at Makerere University and Mulago Hospital. She received approval from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for a fellowship rotation there. In 2020, Dr. Brewster collaborated with colleagues from two other universities on an application to the ACGME to establish a new two-year training program that combines nephrology and palliative care.

Dr. Brewster received her medical degree from Dartmouth University School of Medicine. She completed her residency and nephrology fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine.

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


Sylvia E. Rosas, MD, MS

Citation: Kidney News 13, 10/11

Dr. Rosas is a nephrologist and epidemiologist at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, director of the Latino Kidney Clinic, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a nephrologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Her research focuses on the epidemiology of metabolic and cardiovascular disease complications in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), particularly diabetic kidney disease. She has also examined health disparities in CKD among individuals of Hispanic/Latino background.

Dr. Rosas is her center's principal investigator (PI) in a multicenter study funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to evaluate the role of the APOL1 gene in kidney transplant outcomes. She is also the PI for a precision medicine program at Joslin Diabetes Center aimed at evaluating kidney biopsies to create a kidney tissue atlas; define disease subgroups; and identify critical cells, pathways, and targets for potential therapies.

Dr. Rosas is the president-elect of the National Kidney Foundation. She is a member of the editorial board of CJASN and Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease. She chaired the minority affairs committee of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing.

She has received numerous awards, including the National Kidney Foundation New England Physician of the Year.

Dr. Rosas completed medical school at the University of Rosario in Bogota, Colombia, and internal medicine training at Michael Reese Hospital/University of Illinois at Chicago. She completed clinical nephrology training, a master's in clinical epidemiology, and the Wharton Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania.


Michael J. Ross, MD

Citation: Kidney News 13, 10/11

Dr. Ross is professor of medicine, professor of developmental and molecular biology, and chief of the Division of Nephrology at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

He is a national leader in research related to HIV-associated kidney diseases, with a focus on the mechanisms underlying HIV-associated nephropathy. He has contributed more than 50 original publications.

Under his guidance, the nephrology division at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center has expanded its National Institutes of Health funding and clinical services. During the COVID-19 surge in the spring of 2020, Dr. Ross led the division's response, assisting overwhelmed ICU staff and coordinating with a variety of organizations to address supply and staffing shortages.

Dr. Ross has served in several national and international leadership roles. He chaired the ASN fellowship match task force and was deputy editor of Kidney International for five years. He is currently editor of the nephrology section of the American College of Physicians Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program.

When he was chief of nephrology at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, he helped establish the only VA kidney transplant program in the northeastern United States.

Dr. Ross has also been a leader in nephrology education. He directed the nephrology fellowship training program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for more than 10 years.

Dr. Ross received his MD from New York University. He did his internal medicine training at Duke University and his nephrology fellowship at Mount Sinai.


Cynthia Delgado, MD

Citation: Kidney News 13, 10/11

Dr. Delgado is associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, as well as associate chief of nephrology for clinical operations and director of the dialysis program at the San Francisco VA Health System.

Her research focuses on functional status, frailty, body composition, quality of life, and related outcomes among individuals with chronic kidney disease.

Dr. Delgado chairs the ASN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and co-chairs the ASN-National Kidney Foundation Task Force on Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Disease.

She has led efforts to improve mentoring and support of trainees from racial and ethnic minority groups. She has also served as a volunteer preceptor with medical students caring for the uninsured.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has led the Veterans Integrated Service Network nephrology response, creating contingency plans for dialysis units across northern California and Hawaii. Her leadership in implementing remote delivery of care and meeting staffing and supply-chain challenges helped ensure that patients continued to receive essential kidney care.

Dr. Delgado received her medical degree from the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. She completed a residency in internal medicine at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and a nephrology fellowship at UC San Francisco.

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


Kerri L. Cavanaugh, MD, MHS

Citation: Kidney News 13, 10/11

Dr. Cavanaugh is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is also a nephrologist with the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Her research centers on identifying the factors that influence how patients learn about complex chronic disease and how to translate health information into effective self-care. She has demonstrated the risk related to limited health literacy among patients with moderate-to-advanced kidney disease and developed multi-level interventions to improve care.

She has an extensive publications record, is a highly sought speaker at national and international levels, has served on multiple editorial boards, and has led key research collaborations.

Dr. Cavanaugh has mentored almost 30 undergraduate students, graduate students, residents, and fellows who now hold academic faculty positions and has published more than 30 manuscripts with these mentees as first authors. Dr. Cavanaugh's mentorship work includes providing a research environment that supports rigorous investigation of healthcare practices in order to deliver equitable care and eliminate system-level barriers.

She served as associate director for a summer training research program, mentoring more than a dozen students, a number of whom have published in scientific journals. She has served as co-director of the primary core curriculum clinical conference, renal grand rounds, and visiting lectureship programs and developed new processes to ensure diverse representation in program content and speakers.

Dr. Cavanaugh received her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and completed her residency, nephrology fellowship, and Master of Health Science in clinical epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Michelle Denburg, MD

Citation: Kidney News 13, 10/11

Dr. Denburg is associate professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, director of research and attending physician in the Division of Nephrology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and senior scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Denburg's research centers on complications of childhood kidney diseases, including chronic kidney disease, glomerular disease, and kidney stone disease, with a focus on bone health and mineral metabolism. She is the principal investigator of multiple NIH-funded pediatric studies in these populations that have provided a rich array of resources and support for her mentees. She is co-principal investigator in the Chronic Kidney Disease Biomarkers Consortium and leads a multi-institutional learning network focused on improving health and well-being in children with glomerular disorders.

In her many leadership and research roles, Dr. Denburg has devoted considerable time, expertise, and resources to mentoring clinical fellows and junior faculty members from many subspecialties, including nephrology, endocrinology, urology, and gastroenterology. She has also worked with undergraduate students, medical students, pediatric residents, and biostatistics graduate students.

Her mentoring has also been recognized by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with its Carole Marcus Mid-Career Award to Promote Career Development and Mentoring in Pediatric Research.

Dr. Denburg received her medical degree from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and her Master of Science in clinical epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her residency at Columbia University School of Medicine and her pediatric nephrology fellowship at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

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


Jodie L. Babitt, MD

Citation: Kidney News 13, 10/11

Dr. Babitt is associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of translational research in the nephrology division of Massachusetts General Hospital.

An active clinician, educator, and mentor, Dr. Babitt is also the principal investigator of an NIH-funded laboratory conducting fundamental and translational research into the molecular basis and treatment of iron disorders.

Dr. Babitt made the seminal discovery that the bone morphogenetic protein signaling pathway has a central role in controlling expression of the iron regulatory hormone hepcidin to govern systemic iron homeostasis. Her work has shed important mechanistic insight into the pathophysiology of anemia of chronic kidney disease (CKD), hereditary hemochromatosis, beta-thalassemia, and other iron disorders.

She has built on these fundamental discoveries to pioneer the use of novel biologic and small molecule agents to treat the anemia of CKD and other iron disorders.

Dr. Babitt currently serves on the board of directors of the International BioIron Society and as co-chair of the committee updating the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) clinical practice guideline on anemia management in CKD.

She has received numerous honors for her work, including the International BioIron Society Marcel Simon Award for excellence in hemochromatosis research.

Dr. Babitt graduated from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Health Sciences and Technology Program. She completed her residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a nephrology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital.


Steven G. Coca, DO, MS

Citation: Kidney News 13, 10/11

Dr. Coca is associate professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, where he is also associate chair for clinical and translational research in the Department of Internal Medicine and director of clinical research in the Division of Nephrology.

His research focuses on the epidemiology of acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease (CKD), with particular emphasis on the role of blood and urine biomarkers for risk stratification. Dr. Coca has been at the forefront of efforts to implement bioprognostic tests in diabetic kidney disease, testing the clinical utility of prognostic, predictive, and efficacy biomarkers in several large cohort studies.

He has also investigated machine-learning techniques and multi-dimensional data acquisition to create risk-stratification tools related to CKD and studied the impact of exercise on longitudinal changes in the kidney.

Since 2005, Dr. Coca has published 193 peer-reviewed research articles, reviews, and editorials and given numerous talks at national and international conferences and academic medical centers. He has served as a research mentor for 14 nephrology fellows as well as many postdoctoral fellows, internal medicine residents, and junior faculty members.

He serves on the editorial boards of JASN, CJASN, and Kidney International and as an associate editor of Kidney360.

Dr. Coca received his medical degree from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency, nephrology fellowship, and Master of Science in epidemiology and public health at the Yale University School of Medicine.