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The UNC Kidney Center training program provides research training opportunities for epidemiological, clinical, basic and translational research in kidney disease. The current research trainees at the Kidney Center are Magdalene Assimon, PharmD, Shakia Hardy, MPH, CPH, Britta Jones, PhD, and Xiaojuan Li, MSPH. Each will be featured here so you can learn more about them and the work they’re doing.

Shakia Hardy, MPH, CPH


BA: Biology (minor in Chemistry), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008
MPH: Health Policy and Management, University of South Florida, 2011


New Bern, NC

How did you decide that you wanted to pursue research as a career?

While earning my Masters degree I worked as a Health and Nutrition Specialist for Head Start. This experience broadened my perspectives on how socioeconomic status, race, and access to health care influence the development of adverse health profiles in early life and contribute to chronic disease development. After being the liaison between our program and several research studies on the Head Start population, I desired to contribute to generating knowledge on the prevention of risk factors in diverse populations.

Please tell us about your current research.

My doctoral work quantifies the population burden of CKD and its associated disabilities that can be prevented by modifying blood pressure levels, comparing population-wide interventions and those that target individuals with elevated blood pressure. This research highlights important opportunities to intervene on the larger population at risk for CKD while also intensively treating those at highest risk.

What excites you the most about the work you’re doing now?

The analytic methods have evolved to incorporate interval censoring in the assessment of incident CKD and of time varying confounding. Interval censoring and time varying confounding are rarely dealt with simultaneously in epidemiology and additive models that appropriately handle both issues have not been described. The work is innovative as well as challenging.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

When I’m not working I spend most of my time with my son, husband, extended family and friends. I also enjoying playing the piano and guitar.


Thanks for sharing, Shakia!

All clinical and research trainees at the UNC Kidney Center are listed here. Stay tuned for our next featured trainee.