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Division of Nephrology - History

The Division of Nephrology began under the leadership of Drs. Gene Sarles and Ray Remmers in the early 1960s. It was the third center in the United States to offer chronic dialysis-being a leader in home hemodialysis and a renal transplant program. During their leadership, UTMB Nephrology was a leading center for the development and provision of state of the art care of the renal patient. In 1984, Dr. Thomas DuBose assumed leadership and was instrumental in attracting numerous basic science investigators to the division including Drs. David Good, Rich Gurich, Elsa Bello-Reuss, and Robert Beach. During this decade, the division assumed a premier role in the physiologic understanding of the kidney. Dr. Beach followed from 1990-1994 and continued the development of the division as a leader in research and clinical care. Dr. Robert Safirstein became director from 1994-1998 and brought new cell biology investigations to the division. In recent history, the division was led by Dr. John Badalamenti, 1998-2000, Elsa Bello-Reuss from 2000-2004, Dr. Robert Beach from 2004-2008. In 2008, Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston and the hospital and clinics were closed for an extended period. In spite of this devastation, the division survived and provided patient care and education as Dr. Beach assumed both responsibilities and opened a clinic to maintain patient access. Dr. John Badalamenti resumed direction of the division in 2010 and has overseen its growth and prominence to date.

Basic Science Research

Research in our laboratory is focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating renal tubule electrolyte transport, with emphasis on regulation of acid-base transport in the thick ascending limb. The goals of our current research are to define how innate immune signaling pathways affect renal tubule function and to determine the role of these pathways in the impairment of thick ascending limb bicarbonate absorption and the pathogenesis of metabolic acidosis in sepsis. Our studies use an integrative approach that combines methods for direct study of ion transport and cell signaling in microdissected renal tubules with a clinically-relevant sepsis model to advance understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying sepsis-induced renal tubule dysfunction. In addition, we are investigating cellular mechanisms by which a novel therapeutic agent prevents sepsis-induced thick ascending limb dysfunction. These studies are designed to uncover new therapeutic targets that may aid in protecting renal tubule function during sepsis and a variety of inflammatory kidney disorders. This research has been supported continuously by NIDDK/NIH funding for more than 25 years

The Mission of the Nephrology Division of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston is dedicated to providing the highest level of patient care, training the next generation of academic nephrology leaders, and to research and innovation that will lead to improved patient outcomes and quality of life.

Our faculty members are committed to providing leading-edge diagnosis and treatment for the entire spectrum of renal disease, with expertise in chronic kidney disease, polycystic kidney disease, renal transplantation, renal pathology, hemodialysis, glomerulonephritis, peritoneal dialysis, electrolyte and acid-base disorders, and kidney stones. We are dedicated to ensuring compassionate, high quality care to patients with end-stage renal disease.

On this site you will find links to physician bios and Curriculum Vitaes; information about our Fellowship Program and other educational endeavors, the location of our outpatient clinics and information about the inpatient units in the John Sealy towers, various ongoing research projects and how to contact us if you have any questions.