Proposals 2015-2016 - Duke O'Brien Center for Kidney Research

The Duke O'Brien Kidney Research Center's Clinical and Translational Core (DOCK-CTC) is accepting proposal submissions. The Study Implementation Group (SIG) for the DOCK-CTC will review each of these application in order to determine which application will receive funding. Click here to obtain more information about the submission and review process. Below is a list of funded investigators by the DOCK-CTC for 2015-2016.

Nrupen Bhavsar, PhD

Dr. Nrupen Bhavsar received his Phd from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Bhavsar’s current project for the DOCK Clinical Transition Core is titled, “Neighborhood Assets and Risk of Cardiovascular Events in Individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease.” This project hypothesizes that among patients with CKD, there are specific, previously uncharacterized, neighborhood characteristics that are associated with the presence of CVD. There is further hypothesis that these neighborhood level characteristics contribute to excess risk of CVD above and beyond individual level risk factors (e.g. age, gender, race, and presence of common CVD risk factors). The project proposes the following specific aims: (1) Geospatially characterize neighborhood level determinants that impact potential mediators of the association between CKD and CVD and (2) Quantify the independent association between neighborhood assets and the incidence of CVD events among individuals with CKD.

Monique Anderson, MD & Patrick Pun, MD


Dr. Monique Anderson received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Patrick Pun  recieved his medical degree from Vanderbilt University, followed by a medical residency and fellowship at Duke University. Both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pun work collaboratively on the current DOCK proposal titled “Characteristics, Process Performance, and Outcomes of Chronic Dialysis Patients with In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest.” Using the Get-With The Guidelines Resuscitation (GWTG-R) Program database, the objective of the this study is to: (1) Compare characteristics of cardiac arrest (cardiac arrest rhythm, location, day of week of arrest) between chronic dialysis patients, and non-dialysis patients with who undergo in-hospital CPR for cardiac arrest. (2) Compare CPR processes-of-care measures between non-dialysis and dialysis patients. Process measures to be examined: duration of resuscitation, witnessed or monitored events, timely defibrillation (1st shock under 2 min), number of defibrillations, ETT placement confirmation, time to first chest compressions, time to epinephrine administration for pulseless events and (3) Compare immediate (return of spontaneous circulation) and hospital discharge survival (survival to discharge, favorable neurological status at discharge) post-CPR between dialysis and non-dialysis patients and Compare association of survival differences between dialysis and non-dialysis patients after adjusting sequentially for patient characteristics, cardiac arrest characteristics, modifiable CPR-processes of care, and hospital factors.

Julia Scialla, MD, MHS

Dr. Julia Scialla received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania followed by training in Internal Medicine, Nephrology and Clinical Epidemiology, at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Scialla’s current project for the DOCK Clinical Transition Core is titled, “Phosphate Homeostasis and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in African Americans.” This study will evaluate the relationship between dietary phosphate, serum phosphate, FGF23, PTH and ambulatory blood pressure (BP) levels and patterns in African Americans with CKD enrolled in the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) or the Jackson Heart Study (JHS; Table). We hypothesize that higher dietary phosphate, serum phosphate, FGF23 and PTH will each associate with higher mean 24 hour BP, blunted nocturnal dipping and higher BP variability. In exploratory analyses we will consider differences in amplitude and frequency of BP patterns using parametric models for cyclic data, as appropriate.

Dawn Elizabeth Bowles, PhD

Dr. Dawn Bowles received her Phd from Louisiana State University. Dr. Bowles’ current project for the DOCK Clinical Transition Core is titled, “Evaluation of urinary N‐acetyl‐β‐(D)‐glucosaminidase (NAG) as a biomarker for earlier detection of acute kidney injury in patients with end‐stage heart failure undergoing cardiovascular surgery.” The overall objection is (1) Demonstrate that elevated levels of urinary NAG are associated with development of postsurgical AKI in patients undergoing LVAD or cardiac transplantation therapy. We expect perioperative levels of urinary NAG to be elevated at earlier time points than serum creatinine in patients who develop post‐surgical AKI compared to those patients with normal renal function following implantation of a LVAD or heart transplant and (2) Demonstrate that elevated levels of urinary NAG in the perioperative period are associated with adverse clinical outcomes in patients undergoing LVAD therapy or cardiac transplantation. We expect elevated levels of urinary NAG in the perioperative period to be associated with greater odds for postoperative dialysis requirement and/or hospital death in patients who develop AKI following cardiac transplant or implantation of a LVAD.

Chetan Patel, MD, MHS

Dr. Chetan Patel received his medical degree and completed his medical residency at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Southwestern Medical School followed by a fellowship, in Cardiology, at Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Patel’s current project for the DOCK Clinical Transition Core is titled, “Changes in Biomarkers After Left Ventricular Mechanical Circulatory Support.” The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of LVAD support on biomarkers of cardiac and renal function in stable outpatients with long term (>6 months) continuous-flow LVAD devices. Furthermore, we aim to study the inter-relationship between biomarkers of cardiac and renal function with LVAD support.

Crystal Cenell Tyson, MD

Dr. Crystal Tyson received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed her residency at St. John Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Tyson came to Duke University School of Medicine to complete fellowship programs in nephrology and hypertension. She is currently a medical instructor in both the Department of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Tysons current project for the DOCK Clinical Transitional core is “Effect of the DASH diet on nocturnal blood pressure: Results from the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trial " Objectives of the study are to (1) Test the hypothesis that the DASH diet has a greater nocturnal BP lowering effect for blacks relative to whites. (2) Test the hypothesis that the DASH diet has a greater nocturnal BP lowering effect in adults with higher relative to lower 24-hour urinary albumin excretion rates (3) In an exploratory fashion, test for interaction between black race and 24-hour urinary albumin excretion on change in nocturnal BP.