Institution: The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc.
Grant: Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award (2019)
Project Title: Acid-Base Status of Hospitalized Patients on Maintenance Hemodialysis as a Predictor of Hospital Outcomes
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
My research aims to assess how changes in acid-base during hemodialysis affect hemodynamics and cardiac electrophysiology with the goal of ultimately making hemodialysis safer for end-stage renal disease patients.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
I will assess how changes in acid-base during hospital admissions relate to outcomes. I will also perform a study in which I determine how acid-base and electrolyte changes during hemodialysis sessions affect hemodynamics and QTc prolongation, a predictor for ventricular arrhythmias and potentially sudden cardiac death.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
I hope my research will contribute to our understanding of how hemodialysis affects patient physiology so that we may make it safer for patients overall. I also hope that it will provide a deeper understanding of the effects of changes in serum electrolytes and acid base on cardiac rhythms and hemodynamics.
What are your short and long-term career goals?
After this grant period, I intend to pursue further grant support so that I may continue to analyze physiological changes during hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis to improve both modalities for end-stage renal disease patients. I also hope to be involved in policy working to optimize value and quality of care for patients with end-stage renal disease.
What inspired you to focus your research in this area?
Renal patients have some of the most interesting pathology and are often some of the most complicated patients physicians see. In my career, I have the opportunity to support my patients through long outpatient relationships as well as to be there with them and their families as they face critical illness. It is these long-term, meaningful relationships that bring fulfillment in my work. I am driven to explore how we can further nephrology to take better care of our patients on a large scale.
What are the major challenges to beginning a career in nephrology research today?
One must have the time, mentorship, and formal education to start with a strong foundation to pursue a career in nephrology research. Given the high costs of medical education and low reimbursement many nephrologists receive, far too few will choose nephrology as a specialty and have the ability to pursue research as a career.
In one sentence, please describe the importance of having grant funding available through the ASN Foundation.
The ASN foundation provides support for those, like me, in the early stages of their research career as well as some of the most innovative contributions occurring in the field of nephrology; the organization’s support of nephrologists at all stages of their contributions provides the foundation for sustainable development of our field.
What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?
If you are at an early stage but have a vision for how you hope to contribute to the field of nephrology, the Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Program will provide support during your first steps toward a career in nephrology research.
Something you may not know about me is…
I grew up in a town of 4,000 people in rural Vermont.
In my free time I like to…
Run with Boston running groups, sing with the Harvard Choruses, and volunteer at the Haley House Soup Kitchen.