Distinguished Leader Award: Elke Schaeffner, MD, MSc

Elke Schaeffner
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Elke Schaeffner, MD, MSc

Citation: Kidney News 14, 10/11

Dr. Schaeffner is professor of nephrology and health care research, as well as an epidemiologist at the Institute of Public Health, Charité−Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.

She is also deputy director of the Berlin School of Public Health, where she played a pivotal role in establishing a new Master of Science Program in Public Health and a Doctoral Program in Health Data Sciences.

Her primary fields of research are renal epidemiology and aging, with a particular focus on chronic kidney disease (CKD) in an aging society and biomarkers for assessing kidney function. She is principal investigator of the landmark Berlin Initiative Study, a population-based cohort study investigating the epidemiology of CKD in more than 2000 elderly patients over several years. With its serial glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and other measurements, the study has provided unparalleled high-quality primary data about the natural course of kidney function in elderly persons.

Dr. Schaeffner is a co-founder of the European Kidney Function Consortium, a group focused on optimizing the diagnosis of CKD using novel non-creatinine-based biomarkers and standardized measurements of GFR.

Dr. Schaeffner established a popular 2-day workshop in epidemiological methods for clinicians that has been an integral part of the annual meeting of the German Society of Nephrology for the past decade.

She serves as international editor on the editorial board of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, on the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Workgroup updating the guidelines for evaluation and management of CKD, and on the European Renal Best Practice Guidelines group.

Dr. Schaeffner studied medicine at the University of Freiburg in Germany and obtained her Master of Science in epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA.