The Thadhani Lab is a multidisciplinary clinical research team lead by
Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH, the principal investigator.
Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH I am a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chief of Nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Executive Director of the Clinical Trials Office at Partners Health Care. I have been at the MGH since 1991 and in the Division of Nephrology since 1994. My major activities include clinical and translational research, teaching and mentoring, and administrative responsibilities. My research efforts are divided into two main areas: Pregnancy and Dialysis. Pregnancy related studies have centered on human studies supporting basic science collaborations in the area of angiogenic factors and preeclampsia. We have developed a diagnostic test for preeclampsia that is currently in the clinic in Europe. I have now turned my attention to therapy for preeclampsia, and I am actively planning randomized trials based on our extensive collaborative work.
In the area of Dialysis, I have performed studies examining the effect of vitamin D in the survival of chronic hemodialysis patients. In a sustained series of studies, our links between vitamin D and dialysis survival have now been confirmed by over a dozen independent investigators world-wide. Clinical practices (academic and non-academic) have implemented practice patterns aligned with this work, and national and international practice guidelines have highlighted my series of studies.
Importantly, acknowledging the observational nature of this work, I pursued animal models of heart disease and the effect of vitamin D on preventing cardiac hypertrophy together with basic science collaborators. Our series of human and animal studies led to investigator initiated (Thadhani, PI) multicenter multinational clinical trials in patients with kidney disease. PRIMO is the first randomized trial in nephrology to test the hypothesis that active vitamin D therapy favorably affects cardiac hypertrophy. Our observational studies and subsequent in-vitro work focusing on the potential immuno-modulatory roles of vitamin D led us initiate DIVINE, which is a randomized trial in chronic hemodialysis subjects to test whether nutritional vitamin D therapy reduces the risk of infection. This multi-center translational trial focuses on different doses of nutritional vitamin D (ergocalciferol) and placebo, and we will closely examine rates of infection and ex-vivo examination of white cell responses to exogenous LPS and bacterial toxins. This is the first such trial in Nephrology.
I have also mentored numerous fellows and junior faculty members, all of whom have had a strong track record of publications and grant support, and many of whom are on faculty at leading institutions around the country.
Sagar Nigwekar, MD, MMSc is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Nigwekar conducts translational research in the areas of calciphylaxis (calcific uremic arteriolopathy) and vascular calcification. He also has research interests in improving olfaction/malnutrition in patients with kidney disease and approaches to prevent nephrolithiasis. Dr. Nigwekar is the PI on multiple clinical trials including for VitK-CUA (NCT02278692), the first randomized trial for calciphylaxis patients. Dr. Nigwekar has been a prior recipient of Young Investigator Award from the National Kidney Foundation and Clinical Scientist in Nephrology award from the American Kidney Fund. He is a co-chair of the International Consensus Panel on calciphylaxis.
Sahir Kalim, MD, MMSc I am an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. My academic focus involves understanding the fundamental mechanisms of the excess morbidity and mortality seen in chronic kidney disease (CKD) in order to develop new diagnostics and therapies for CKD patients. Our team has studied novel protein and metabolite alterations that occur in uremia and contribute to adverse outcomes. We have revealed the harmful effects of protein carbamylation on dialysis patients and how novel therapeutics including amino acid therapy can attenuate this process. This research has translated into first-in-human clinical studies and ultimately a randomized clinical trial. These studies have received generous support through entities such as the National Kidney Foundation Young Investigator Award and through an NIH K23 Career Development Award.
Amaka Eneanya, MD, MPH is currently an attending in the Nephrology Division at Massachusetts General Hospital and Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2011 followed by a nephrology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Eneanya’s research focuses on racial disparities, palliative and end-of-life care among the chronic kidney disease population. In 2013, she was selected as the inaugural recipient of the ASN Foundation's Sharon Anderson Research Fellowship. Her research is currently supported by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion/Executive Committee on Research at MGH and the NIH LRP program.
Camille Elise Powe, MD is Chief Resident at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and a Fellow in the Endocrine Division at MGH and is particularly interested in disorders in pregnancy and the effects of pregnancy complications on women's health.
Andrew Allegretti, MD, MSc is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Assistant in Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed Internal Medicine Residency at MGH followed by Nephrology fellowship in the MGH/BWH joint program. His research interest is in translating new therapeutics in hepatorenal syndrome and in novel diagnostics of kidney injury. His work is supported by a Clinical Research Award from the American College of Gastroenterology.
Meghan Sise, MD, MS is An Assistant in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital who studies the effect of Hepatitis C virus infection in patient with kidney disease. She conducts clinical trials using direct-acting antiviral therapy in patients with chronic kidney disease, patients on dialysis, and transplant recipients. Through translational investigation, she hopes to learn the mechanisms by which chronic infections cause adverse outcomes in patients with kidney disease.
Jessica Sheehan Tangren, MD is currently a Research Fellow in the Joint Nephrology Fellowship Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2014. Dr. Tangren’s research is in women’s health with a particular focus on the long-term consequences of kidney injury in young women and mechanisms of renal circulatory adaptation to pregnancy. She is completing her Master’s in Public Health in Clinical Effectiveness from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Charbel C. Khoury, MD is currently a Research and Clinical Fellow in the Joint Nephrology Fellowship Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 2014. Dr. Khoury has a particular interest in protein energy wasting and kidney disease.
Monica Sircar, MD is a Research and Clinical Fellow in the Joint Nephrology Fellowship Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her translational research interest lies in the early detection and progression of diabetic nephropathy. Her research is supported by the American Society of Nephrology.
Yossi Chait, Ph.D. is a professor at the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research lies at the interface of medicine and engineering. He has an NIH K25 award under the co-mentorship of Drs. Thadhani and Michael Germain (Renal and Transplant Associates of New England) whose aims are to develop models for erythropoietic response to EPO and iron and personalized dosing protocols. He is also working on personalized fluid volume management through the use of advanced physiological models in the estimation of absolute blood volume and feedback-driven ultrafiltration profiles.
Daniela Contreras, MD is a Research Fellow in the Thadhani Lab and her primary interests are in chronic kidney disease and gestational diabetes. She is also an MPH Candidate in the Program in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health and plans to enroll in a PhD program in Clinical Epidemiology in the near future.
Xavier F. Vela Parada, MD is a research fellow who graduated from the University of El Salvador School of Medicine in 2013. His current focus includes the development of methods and devices for non-invasive determination of volume status, characterization of pathogenic factors in lupus nephritis and IgA nephropathy, the determination of biomarkers for hepatorenal syndrome and the physiological effects and renal outcomes of TIPS placement in cirrhosis. His other research interest includes the epidemiology of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology in agricultural communities.
Xiaohong Fan, M.D. is a visiting scholar in the Thadhani Lab who comes to us from China where she is an attending physician in the Nephrology Division at Peking Union Medical College Hospital. While here, Dr. Fan will receive training and instruction in the conduct of basic and translational clinical research. Her primary interests are epidemiology in chronic kidney disease and nephropathy in the elderly.
Kenneth Lim, M.D., Ph.D. is currently Clinical Fellow in Nephrology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He is affiliated with the Division of Experimental Medicine and Immunotherapeutics (EMIT) at the University of Cambridge, England and is a member of Christ’s College Cambridge. Dr. Lim is a translational and clinical investigator focusing on the aging process in the spheres of vascular medicine, Geriatric Nephrology and spiritual formation. His recognitions include the Early Clinical Investigator (ECI) Award from the MRF in Oregon and the Genzyme-Sanofi Fellowship in Nephrology among others.
Kabir Olaniran, MBBS is currently a Clinical and Research Fellow at the joint Nephrology program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston MA. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical Center in New York in 2015 where he was Chief Medical Resident. During his residency, he was a recipient of the Young Achievers Award and Clinical Vignette Poster Award at the 2014 National American College of Physicians conference. Dr. Olaniran has a particular interest in dialysis outcomes and sickle cell disease.
Elizabeth (Lisa) Ankers, BA is our Senior Laboratory and Data Manager coordinating all administrative and personnel-related aspects of the Lab as well as building and maintaining research databases in support of studies. Lisa contributes to grant submissions to the NIH and other public funding sources, and is a liaison with facilities, materials management, finance, and research and grants administration. Lisa joined the MGH in 1997, and has been in Dr. Thadhani's lab since 2003.
Katherine Brock, BS is the Clinical Research Program Manager responsible for managing all of the labs protocols, the research staff and prioritizing of work among other duties. Katherine graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Health Science and a minor in Psychology and has years of clinical research experience. She is currently pursuing her Health Care Masters of Business Administration.
Dihua Xu, Ph.D. is the lab's statistician. She graduated from University of Maryland, Baltimore County with Ph.D. in statistics in 2011. Prior to joining the lab, Dr. Xu worked as a staff scientist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for four years. Her interests are in the development and application of statistical methods for collaborative research.
Sophia Zhao, M.D., Ph.D. is a clinical biostatistician supporting the Thadhani Lab. She practiced general medicine in China before earning her Ph.D. in Clinical and Population Health Research from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2011.
Dorrie Dobens Sullivan, RN, BSN is the lab's Research Study Nurse. Dorrie participates in study coordination and regulatory compliance, and is a liaison between the lab and hospital's Internal Review Board. Dorrie received her Bachelors degree in Nursing from Boston College and is a member of the International Association of Research Nurses.
Kathy Lucchesi, PhD, RPh is our Senior Clinical Research Administrator who brings 20+ years of pharmaceutical, clinical, research, regulatory and drug safety experience to the team. Kathy supports our drug development initiatives, and helps to write grants, publications, research reports and various medical communications relating to our collective and diverse laboratory interests.
Clifford Gardner, MA is the Senior Administrative Manager of Research. He manages the diverse grants/contracts portfolio and keeps track of the finances for the lab, as well as for the Division of Nephrology. He has over thirteen years of experience in grants and research administration at Harvard University (Harvard Medical School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences) and the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, AZ. He has been an active member of the National Council of University Research Administrators since 2000. He has also lived on five continents and enjoys working with researchers from all over the globe.
Christian Garcia-Scheer, MA is our Brand and Web Developer responsible for all things digital. He will take us forward onto a responsive autonomous platform for remote clinical trials as well as upgrading the Thadhani lab and MGH Nephrology Division websites. Christian was born in Caracas, Venezuela and graduated from Full Sail University in Orlando, FL with a Masters in Brand Development. He comes to us from Disney where he was their Brand and Web Developer for many years and joined the Thadhani lab in August 2016.
Laurence Mercier-Lafond is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Thadhani Lab. Laurence graduated from Northeastern University in 2015 with a degree in Biology and minors in Health Sciences and Psychology. She is interested in the social determinants of health and intends on pursuing an MBA in healthcare.
Scott Krinsky, BA is a Clinical Research Assistant in the Thadhani Lab, whose responsibilities include processing incoming and outgoing biological samples for various studies. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2012 with a degree in psychology. His health care experience gained from working in the Health Information Management department within MGH provides a valuable background to our lab.
Shananssa Percy, BS is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Thadhani Lab. She graduated from Boston College in 2016 with a degree in Biology. She is a member of the MGH Bicentennial Scholars Program. From this program, Shananssa has gained healthcare experience interning in a variety of departments such as teleneurology, anesthesia, and perioperative care.