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This year brings a new and impressive group of adult nephrology fellows and renal epidemiology trainees to the UNC Kidney Center. Dr. Jerry Hladik, who recently took on the role of Training Program Director for the Adult Fellowship Program, and Dr. Susan Hogan, who mentors the research trainees under the Renal Epidemiology Training Grant under the direction of Dr. Ron Falk, will introduce their new trainees here.

Adult Nephrology – Jerry Hladik, MD

This year I assume the role of Training Program Director for the Nephrology-Internal Medicine Fellowship Program, following in the footsteps of one of the best mentors, clinicians, and humans one could know. I’m referring, of course, to Dr. Romulo Colindres, affectionately referred to as the “Maestro” by our fellows. This endearment was coined by former fellow Dr. Joseph Aiello to reflect Dr. Colindres’ excellence and dedication to patient care, teaching, and his unparalleled in-depth understanding of kidney physiology. It’s an honor to follow Dr. Colindres in this capacity and to be involved in the training of our fellows, who are consistently the cream of the crop.

The quality of physician alumni from the UNC Nephrology Fellowship Program reads like the list of the superstars who played basketball at UNC.

As I start the process of recruiting new fellows, I feel like Roy Williams, trying to restack the deck with the best and brightest. In my view are fellows are national champions! I am pleased to introduce our incoming class of outstanding fellows for 2009.

Elizabeth Dehmer, MD

Liz is from the City of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina (one of two Cities of Medicine in the North Carolina), and completed her undergraduate training in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. She completed medical school at the University of North Carolina, and her internal medicine training at UNC Hospitals. She has an interest in aspects of kidney disease in pregnancy. She will complete most of her clinical training this year, and then will be enrolled in the clinical epidemiology MPH program at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC. Liz enjoys spending time with her spouse and cheering for Trojan football.

Adam Stern, MD

Adam is from Poughkeepsie, New York, in the heart of the Hudson Valley. He completed his undergraduate training at Hofstra University in Biology. His medical school training was at New York Medical College, and his internal medicine residency was at UNC Hospitals. He will complete two years of clinical training in Nephrology and hopes to enter private practice. He has an interest in all aspects of clinical nephrology. Adam enjoys rowing, golf and time with his wife.

Palak Parikh, MD

Palak is from Arlington, Texas, centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth. She completed her undergraduate training in Genetics at Texas A & M University, and attended medical school at the Texas A & M System Health Science Center College of Medicine. Palak also completed her internal medicine residency at UNC Hospitals. Her interest is primarily in improving outcomes in chronic kidney disease, and she plans to complete 2 years of clinical training in nephrology. Palak enjoys cheering for all Aggie sports, particularly football.

Heather Stewart, MD

Heather is from Batesburg-Leesville, which is nestled in the Midlands of South Carolina. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Her residency training was in combined Medicine-Pediatrics at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Heather is enrolled in the combined Medicine-Pediatrics Nephrology Fellowship and has already completed one year of clinical training in Pediatric Nephrology here last year. Next year she will enroll in the MPH program at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, where she will focus on the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in end stage kidney disease.

So Yoon Jang, MD – Renal Transplant Fellow

Dr. Jang begins her one-year Transplant fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Randy Detwiler, after having completed her clinical fellowship last year. Her medical school training and residency were at UNC. She completed her undergraduate degree at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Dr. Jang’s interests in nephrology include pregnancy with acute and chronic kidney disease, Nephrotoxic injury and urinary sediment markers, immunomodulator drug metabolisms and outcome. During her fellowship, Dr. Jang will be involved in renal ultrasound research with renal elastography/ARFI to evaluate rejection in transplant recipients.

Dr. Jang was born and raised in Seoul, Korea and came to the US at the age of 17.

Click here to visit the Adult Nephrology Fellowship Program page


Research Training Program- An Update by Susan Hogan, PhD, MPH

This year’s incoming group of renal epidemiology trainees are as promising as ever, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to work with each of them.

Our program this year includes 4 post-doctoral trainees, 3 of whom, Vimal Derebail, Christina Kahl and Julie McGregor, have recently completed adult clinical fellowships at UNC. Dr. Kahl will complete her pediatrics clinical training upon completion of her research training. We welcome Nadiesda Costa who is new to UNC and starting her first year of epidemiology training.

We have 2 pre-doctoral renal epidemiology trainees; Bradley Layton is in his first year of the program and Ahinee Amamoo is continuing her training this year.

Post-Doctoral Trainees

Vimal Derebail, MD

Dr. Derebail is in his 3rd year of research training at UNC. He completed his one year of clinical nephrology sub-specialty training at UNC in June 2007. He is in the process of completing his Masters of Public Health Degree in the UNC Department of Epidemiology.

His research interests include thrombotic disorders in nephrotic syndromes and end-stage kidney disease; hemoglobinopathies and renal disease; and promoting the choice of peritoneal dialysis as an outpatient modality of renal replacement therapy. His medical degree is from the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia.

Nadiesda Costa, MD

Dr. Costa began her two years of research training at the UNC Kidney Center in July 2009. In August 2009 she began the Masters of Public Health degree program in the UNC Department of Epidemology. Her pursuance of the MPH degree will incorporate her research interests in kidney transplantation, immunology, rejection and recurrence of glomerular disease in allografts.

Dr. Costa received her MD degree in 1998 from the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and completed her internship, residency and nephrology subspecialty training between 2002 and 2009 at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.

Upon completion of her research training in June 2011, she is slated for one year of clinical training in renal transplantation at the UNC Kidney Center.

Julie Anne McGregor, MD

Dr. McGregor began her research training this year after completing her clinical nephrology training in 2009. She earned her medical degree from Wake Forest University in 2004. Dr. McGregor completed her internship and residency at UNC in 2007. During her second year of residency, Dr. McGregor was the recipient of the “Golden Boots” award which is awarded by upper level residents for clinical acumen.

Her research will focus on her interests in the physiology and treatment of glomerulonephritis and vasculitis. She came to the fellowship out of a desire to refine vasculitis therapy to limit medication-induced morbidity. Upon completion of her research fellowship, Dr. McGregor plans to have contributed to literature on focused treatment and best care for ANCA Vasculitis patients.

Julie enjoys spending time with her husband and their young son.

Christina Kahl, MD, PhD

Dr. Kahl is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College. She then entered the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Duke University and received her PhD in the Department of Pharmacology. She completed her internal medicine and pediatrics residency training at UNC Hospitals and started her clinical nephrology training in July 2008.

Dr. Kahl will spend two years of basic science research under the mentorship of Dr. John Edwards and her research will focus on the role of CLIC (chloride intracellular channel) proteins in acute kidney injury. She will complete her clinical training in pediatric nephrology during her final year of fellowship. Christina enjoys participating in yearly, one week medical mission trips to Guatemala with other UNC physicians and volunteering at her church.

Pre-Doctoral Trainees

M. Ahinee Amamoo, B.S., MSPH

Ms. Amamoo began the training program in July 2006 in conjunction with pursuing a PhD in Epidemiology at UNC. She received an M.S. degree from the UNC Department of Biostatistics in 2001. Prior to beginning her research training, she worked as a statistician at the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center for 6 years and as a lead statistician and then Director of the Center for Biostatistics and Data Management for the Institute for Health, Social and Community Research in Raleigh, NC. Her work experience led to her interest in health disparities and epidemiologic issues in cardiovascular and renal disease.

As part of her training, she participated in and received credit hours for a certificate in the Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Certificate Program within the UNC program on Ethnicity, Culture and Health Outcomes. This program has been designed to help emerging members of the public health workforce to develop leadership and analytical skills that specifically support a long-term and sustained public health effort toward addressing, and ultimately eliminating disparities. Ms. Amamoo has also been involved in community screenings for kidney disease throughout North Carolina, as well as in Ghana, West Africa.

Bradley Layton, B.S.

Mr. Layton came to UNC in 2007 to begin a MSPH/PhD program in epidemiology at UNC’s School of Public Health. Originally from Virginia, then later Utah, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at Brigham Young University. His past volunteer experience includes a Tobacco prevention internship in Amman, Jordan with the Ministry of Health, and medical mission work in Ethiopia.

Along with beginning his Epidemiology program, Mr. Layton began working at UNC with a graduate teaching assistantship in epidemiology, and in January of 2008 began working as a research assistant at the Kidney Center. He is an active volunteer with UNC’s Kidney Education Outreach Program (KEOP) screenings.

Congratulations to former research trainees who have recently completed their training:

Andrew S. Bomback, MD, MPH – Dr. Bomback began his training at the University of North Carolina Kidney Center in July of 2006. He completed two years of research and a year of training in clinical nephrology in 2009. During his training he obtained his MPH degree Epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. He is now an Instructor in Clinical Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, New York.

Keisha L. Gibson, MD, MPH – Dr. Gibson completed both her clinical fellowship and Master’s in Epidemiology in 2008 and accepted a full-time faculty position here as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at UNC. Her current primary research interests lie in lupus nephritis and other glomerular diseases, as well as interests in ethnic/socioeconomic disparities and its impact on patient outcomes using an epidemiology-based approach. Dr. Gibson maintains research interests in the growing epidemic of chronic kidney disease in West Africa. Click here for Dr. Gibson’s bio.

Delesha Miller, PhD, MSPH – Dr. Miller completed two years of research training in the UNC Kidney Center in 2009. During this time, she completed her dissertation and doctoral degree in the UNC Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. Her doctoral research focused on understanding the effects of conflicting information on medication adherence among patients with vasculitis. She is now a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center.

Scott L. Sanoff, MD, MPH – Dr. Sanoff completed his clinical nephrology training in 2006, his research training including an MPH degree from the UNC School of Public Health program in Public Health Leadership in 2008, and his clinical renal transplant fellowship in 2009. He is now an Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology & Center for Immunity, Inflammation, and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.