Message from the Chief

Precision Medicine in Nephrology seeks to identify the right treatment for each renal patient at the right time. With this theme as our underlying mantra, we seek to help define a new era in renal medicine.

Our Division of Nephrology at the UT Health San Antonio has a long and distinguished history of notable achievements in Nephrology under the leadership of Drs. Marvin Forland, Jay Stein, Robert Kunau, Hanna Abboud, and Claudia Hura.

I became the Director of the Division in August, 2017. We are building on our existing strengths in diabetes, acute kidney injury, aging, cardio-renal disease, fibrosis, and genetic basis of kidney disease.

Our goal is to make a major impact in developing new diagnostic approaches and therapeutic interventions to improve the quality of life of our patients. Our Division presently holds several large NIH grants, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation grants, Veterans Administration research grants, and, private foundation grants to support our basic, clinical and translational studies.(Center for Precision Medicine Research)

We were recently awarded an NIH funded Kidney Precision Medicine Tissue Interrogation grant, one of five in the country, to be the premier site for localizing molecules in human kidney biopsies (Center for Precision Medicine). This new approach, coupled with technological advances in collaborating institutions, will help to redefine in molecular mechanistic terms both common causes of kidney disease, such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as less commonly encountered diseases such as polycystic kidney disease, lupus nephritis, Alport disease, focal sclerosis and other primary renal disorders.

Our fellowship program is one of the largest in the country and provides excellent teaching in all aspects of Nephrology including acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, transplantation and innovative approaches in clinical nephrology. Our fellows have historically done very well in passing the ABIM Nephrology board examination. (Division of Nephrology/education)

Our faculty members are highly reputed and experienced clinicians renowned for diagnosing and treating common and rare diseases of the kidney. Appointments may be made to consult them at the Medicine And Research Arts Center (UT Health – Nephrology).

The UT Health Nephrology Division has historically been one of the strongest divisions in the Department of Medicine and with the guidance of Drs. William Henrich, President of UT Health SA, Brian Reeves, Chair of the Department of Medicine, and myself, we aspire to be leaders in the era of Precision Medicine in Nephrology.

Our goal is to train the next generation of nephrologists to be highly capable in all aspects of classical Nephrology as well as learning the tools of large data analysis, multi-omic analysis and use of the renal biopsy for Precision Medicine.

Kumar Sharma, M.D.

L. David Hillis, M.D., Endowed Distinguished Chair in Medicine
Chief, Division of Nephrology
Vice Chair of Research
Department of Medicine

Center for Precision Medicine

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Tel: 210-567-4700


History of the Division of Nephrology

Since 1968, at the founding of our institution, the division has had a strong presence with highly regarded individuals in the field of nephrology. During the tenure of Dr. Marvin Forland, the founding Director of the Nephrology Division, the maintenance hemodialysis program for the treatment of end-stage kidney disease was established for the first time in San Antonio in 1969. In addition, the first kidney transplant in San Antonio was performed in 1970.

The chronic hemodialysis program was established in 1974 at our sister institution, the Audie L. Murphy Veterans Administration Hospital. We have made significant contributions to the field of pathogenesis of acute kidney injury, cell biology of growth factors in the kidney, transport and acid-base physiology of the nephron, and oxidative stress in diabetic kidney disease.

In August 2017 Dr. Kumar Sharma took over as Division Chief focusing the efforts on precision medicine that explores molecular mechanisms of kidney disease in an individual by analyzing patients’ kidney biopsy material and employing multi-omic strategy with an unbiased investigation of changes in nucleic acids, proteins and metabolites.