Research Training

Pediatric Nephrology 43 1

Two research years enable fellows to broaden understanding of renal disease and establish an academic career in pediatric nephrology. Fellows can participate in clinical, bench or translational research in multiple locations on the Indiana University School of Medicine campus in downtown Indianapolis.

Teaching faculty in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension are actively involved in research and participate in several NIH-funded national trials and studies. The division is part of the Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium, which introduces young investigators 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 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 clinical research team also conducts microbiome studies in children with urinary stone disease.

Recent Trainee Publications

IU School of Medicine’s pediatric nephrology faculty have a proven track record for excellence in mentorship. Current and past trainees of the program are directly mentored by current faculty experts.

Joshua Watson, with the mentorship of Andrew Schwaderer, MD and David Hains, MD, developed a biomarker panel to more accurately diagnose UTIs.

Kirsten Kusumi, with the mentorship of Schwaderer, identified that children with kidney stones have early signs of cardiovascular disease. Kusumi received an American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Trainee Clinical Research award for her work.

John David Spencer, with the mentorship of David Hains, MD and Andrew Schwaderer, MD identified that the kidney and urinary tract produces a powerful antibacterial activity. Spencer went on to receive NIH K and R awards for his work.

Brian Becknell, with the mentorship of David Hains, MD and Andrew Schwaderer, MD, 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. Becknell received a Society for Pediatric Research trainee research award for his work.

Jason Misurac, with the mentorship of Jeffrey Leiser, MD, Corina Nailescu, MD, Amy Wilson, MD and Sharon Andreoli, MD, characterized nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-associated acute kidney injury (AKI) in children.


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 IU 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.