Duke O'Brien Center for Kidney Research - 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 2014-2015.


Dr. Ranee Chatterjee completed her medical degree at Duke University, followed by medicine residency and clinical research fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her research interests include prevention of diabetes. Dr. Chatterjee's current project for the DOCK Clinical Translational Core is entitled, "Identifying Determinants of Low Serum and Dietary Potassium in African Americans." Using the current recruitment of African Americans with pre-diabetes/early diabetes and a low-normal serum potassium from a pilot clinical trial, the aim of this study is to collect additional measures to (1) more accurately monitor the effects of K-supplements compared to placebo on blood pressure and/or 24-hr ABPM; and (2) develop a qualitative study to determine the acceptability, facilitators, and barriers to interventions for raising potassium measures.


Dr. Patrick Pun received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University and completed his medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. His research interest is in understanding mechanisms of cardiovascular disease among patients with CKD, with a focus on sudden cardiac death. Dr. Pun's current project for the DOCK Clinical Translational Core is entitled, "Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Utilization in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients." Among patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction who are hospitalized with acute failure, the aims of this study are to (1) evaluate the association between the level of kidney function and the likelihood of receiving an evidence-based primary prevention implantable defibrillator (ICD or CRT-D); and (2) assess physicians' attitudes toward ICD and CRT therapy among patients with CKD compared to non-CKD patients.


Dr. Sunil Rao received his medical degree and training at Ohio State University College of Medicine and Duke University Medical Center respectfully. He is a cardiologist and clinical investigator with a clinical interest in interventional cardiology. His focus of research is on outcomes in patients with ischemic heart disease, quality assessment and improvement through registries, and clinical trials in interventional cardiology.

Mentored by Dr. Rao, Dr. Ragnar Palsson earned his medical degree from University of Iceland, completed his medicine residency at Duke University Medical Center, and is currently a nephrology fellow at the Brigham and Women's Hospital/ Massachusetts General Hospital Joint Nephrology Fellowship Program. Dr. Palsson's current project for the DOCK Clinical Translational Core is entitled, "Treatment patterns and outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease managed with ticagrelor or clopidogrel for acute coronary syndrome." The aim of this study is to evaluate whether patients with and without chronic kidney disease benefit from being prescribed ticagrelor instead of clopidogrel in the setting of ACS in real-world settings.

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, “ Acid Base Compensation in CKD.” The purpose of this study is to evaluate changes, in urine net acid excretion, blood pressure, and body chemistry, that occur when the dietary acid load is lowered by using a drug/dietary supplement similar to baking soda. Primary outcomes are participant change in ambulatory blood pressure, change in mean 24 hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure, change in urine net acid excretion, and change in urine net acid excretion. Each participant will be fed a controlled diet for one week with sodium bicarbonate and for one week without sodium bicarbonate to evaluate these changes.