Fellowship Training

The Pediatric Nephrology fellowship at IU School of Medicine is a three-year program that provides extensive training in all areas of clinical nephrology and gives fellows the opportunity to participate in clinical or basic science research. Training is divided into one year of clinical work and two years of research. This program is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Faculty educators in this pediatric specialty area are committed to including fellows as part of the team, understanding that fellows are an important part of improving the care for children with kidney disease. Some will discover scientific break-throughs; some may change legislation and policy; others will work on quality improvement and clinical research. Each and every one will contribute to the advancement of treating pediatric nephrology patients.

The Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension conducts robust basic science and clinical research, and the nephrology fellowship program develops academic pediatric nephrologists who go on to establish independent careers within the areas of their research interests. Fellows can obtain a Masters degree through the Clinical Investigator Training Enhancement Program during their two years of research training. The Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension covers the cost of this program for interested fellows.

Advanced Pediatric Training with Renowned Experts

The Pediatric Nephrology Division at Riley Children’s Hospital/Indiana University School of Medicine is ranked in the top 15 in the country by US News & World Report. Nephrology specialists at Riley Hospital for Children treat all forms of pediatric kidney disease and are national and international experts in hypertension, congenital kidney disease, kidney stones, chronic kidney disease, end-stage kidney disease and glomerulopathies. Fellows have the opportunity to be mentored by any faculty on campus, including Pediatric Nephrology clinical faculty, who collaborate with the Internal Medicine Nephrology program at IU School of Medicine and their Indiana O’Brien Center for Advanced Microscopic Analysis.

Program Leadership

The Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship is led by Program Director Andrew Schwaderer, MD, and Associate Program Director Myda Khalid, MD.

Andrew L. Schwaderer, MD

Andrew L. Schwaderer, MD

Professor of Pediatrics
Myda Khalid, MD

Myda Khalid, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Training Goals

The Pediatric Nephrology fellowship develops academic pediatric nephrologists with well-defined areas of academic/research/clinical interests by the time of graduation. During the clinical year, fellows learn how to prescribe all forms of acute renal replacement therapy, including CVVH, Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis. They also become proficient at managing chronic outpatient hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

Fellows must submit one first-authored manuscript during the fellowship as required by the American Board of Pediatrics. In addition fellows broaden other scholarship skills that include (but are not limited to) participating and presenting at national conferences, grant writing and contributing to multicenter studies. An assigned research mentor guides each fellow through these process.

Clinical Experience

The clinical year comprises six months of inpatient service and five months of outpatient work. One month of outpatient time can be used for electives. Typical electives that fellows take are renal pathology, urology, uro-radiology, and research and transplant surgery. Fellows may also create their own elective experience.

The fellow’s clinical experience takes place at Riley Hospital for Children, the only comprehensive care children’s hospital in Indiana and serves as the primary referral center for children with kidney disorders. This facility houses the state’s largest pediatric dialysis program, the only pediatric hemodialysis unit and the largest pediatric renal transplant program.

Clinical services include managing the care of pediatric transplant recipients in the acute and long-term setting, providing inpatient and outpatient renal consults for all renal conditions, pre-natal evaluation of renal disorders, independent renal biopsies and the interpretation of renal pathology as well as reading uro-radiological studies.

Research Training

The two research years are geared toward broadening an understanding of renal disease and serve as a platform for establishing an academic career in pediatric nephrology. Fellows can participate in clinical, bench or translational research in multiple venues on the IU School of Medicine campus in downtown Indianapolis.

The teaching faculty of this pediatric specialty division are actively involved in research and participate in several NIH-funded national trials and studies. The division is part of the Mid-West Pediatric Nephrology Consortium, which serves as an excellent platform for young investigators introducing them to the concepts involved in research and the national renal community. David Hains, MD, and Andrew Schwaderer, MD, have NIH-funded laboratories within the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research.

The pediatric nephrology team’s clinical research portfolio includes studies for children with chronic kidney disease, glomerular disease, immunizations in children with kidney transplants or chronic kidney disease, novel therapies for nephrotic syndrome, children with complement disorders, and hypertension. Active studies include novel diagnostic projects for improving diagnosis of urinary tract infections and novel projects involving contrast enhanced ultrasound for children with reflux nephropathy. The team also conducts microbiome studies in children with urinary stone disease.

Faculty have a proven track record in excellence in mentorship. Below are some examples of publications from past trainees of the division or fellowship & housestaff trainees directly mentored by current faculty when the faculty were at prior institutions:

  • Anne Kouri, with the mentorship of Dr. Sharon Andreoli, reported on the presentation and outcome of Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated glomerulonephritis in children.
  • Jason Misurac, with the mentorship of Drs. Jeffrey Leiser, Corina Nailescu, Amy Wilson and Sharon Andreoli, characterized nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-associated acute kidney injury (AKI) in children.
  • John David Spencer, with the mentorship of Drs. David Hains and Andrew Schwaderer, identified that the kidney and urinary tract produces a powerful antibacterial activity. Dr. Spencer went on to receive NIH K and R awards for his work.
  • Joshua Watson, with the mentorship of Drs. Andrew Schwaderer and David Hains, developed a biomarker panel to more accurately diagnose UTIs.
  • Kirsten Kusumi, with the mentorship of Dr. Andrew Schwaderer, identified that children with kidney stones have early signs of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Kusumi received an American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Trainee Clinical Research award for her work.
  • Brian Becknell, with the mentorship of Drs. Andrew Schwaderer and David Hains, identified a novel COL4A5 mutation causes rapid progression to end-stage renal disease in males, despite the absence of clinical and biopsy findings associated with Alport syndrome in a large pedigree. Dr. Becknell received a Society for Pediatric Research trainee research award for his work.
  • Laura Walawender, with the mentorship of Dr. Andrew Schwaderer, used a novel mobile technology application to define hydration status in children.

Other Resources

The Morris Green Physician Scientist Development Program provides additional resources and mentor opportunities for fellows interested in becoming physician scientists or academic leaders.

The Division of Adult Nephrology at the Indiana University School of Medicine provides additional research, clinical and mentorship opportunities and oversees a combined NIH T32 trainee program with the Pediatric Nephrology Division with slots available to Pediatric Nephrology fellows. Additionally dual adult and pediatric nephrology fellowship programs are available.