Meet the nephrology clinical trials staff

Tarek Alhamad, MD, MS, FACP, FASN, Medical Director, Pancreas Transplant Interim Medical Director, Kidney Transplant Program

Dr. Alhamad’s clinical focus is on Antibody mediated rejection, simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplantation, high risk kidney transplantation, recurrent glomerulonephritis. His research interests include simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplantation, donation after cardiac death, immunosuppression minimization.

Jean L. Audrain, RN, Nephrology Research Coordinator

I am a strong patient advocate and strive to demonstrate that quality in every endeavor I encounter. Patient education is an essential tool to achieve that goal.

I have been employed by the Division of Nephrology at Washington University for 36 years. I started as a Staff Nurse in the Chromalloy American Kidney Center dialysis unit in 1980, was promoted to Head Nurse in 1988, and then Patient Care Coordinator in 1994. In 2003, I broadened my 26-year expertise in dialysis to include the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) population by accepting a position as a Renal Clinical Nurse Coordinator. In 2008, I was given the opportunity to expand my horizons by accepting aposition as a Nephrology Clinical Research Coordinator. I continued in the CKD research role until 2015, when I offered my assistance as a Research Coordinator to the Transplant Nephrology Clinical Research Team.

Rachel Cody, RN, BSN, Renal Research Nurse Coordinator

I graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with my bachelors of science in nursing. Prior to coming to work for Washington University, I worked in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. I am excited to be joining the renal research transplant team and working to provide the best care for renal patients!

Daniel W. Coyne, MD, Professor of Medicine
Director, Medical Multispecialty Outpatient Group, CAM
Director of Hemodialysis, Chromalloy American Kidney Center

My clinical interests include providing comprehensive care to patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), hypertension, proteinuria, glomerular diseases, inherited kidney diseases, fluid and electrolyte disorders, and care for patients requiring chronic dialysis. Dr. Coyne also participates in research, with focus on anemia and renal bone disease, problems commonly seen among patients with CKD. My anemia research has focused on the proper use of epoetin and similar drugs, the role of iron in proper management, and defining the significant clinical risks and limited benefits of aggressive treatment of anemia in CKD. My research has also explored the value of treatments for renal metabolic bone disease, also known as CKD-MBD. Studies have included human trials of paricalcitol, cinacalcet, ergocalciferol, niacinamide, and various phosphate binders.

Rowena Delos Santos, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Transplant

In her clinical work with patients, Dr. Delos Santos’ interests cover pancreas and kidney transplant and ABO incompatible transplants, immunosuppression management, infectious complications in transplantation, treatment and prevention of transplant rejection and recurrence of primary renal diseases in the transplanted kidney.

Dr. Delos Santos also conducts research with interests in transplant outcomes-cardiovascular and infectious complications, transplant rejection and recurrence of primary diseases in the transplanted population. Additional work as a site investigator investigates medications and treatment options that could improve the care of kidney transplant recipients, with a special focus on mitigating the complications that occur after transplantation.

She also assists in training future transplant nephrologists in the Washington University School of Medicine Nephrology Transplant Fellowship program. In addition to assisting with recruiting and teaching, she participates in the world renowned WUSM Nephrology Faculty band.

Susan K. Dombek, RN, Nephrology Clinical Research Coordinator

I started my nursing career as an evening charge nurse on a surgical floor at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital North Campus in 1975 and soon transferred to the Renal Intensive Care Unit. Since hemodialysis and caring for end-stage renal disease patients had interested me since nursing school, I took a position in the hemodialysis unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital North Campus as soon as there was an opening. I remained there from 1975 until 1999, first working as a staff nurse on the floor then becoming the charge nurse and primary care nurse coordinator. I then took a position as Nephrology Clinical Research Coordinator, allowing me to continue my work with dialysis patients and their families, while expanding into the clinical research field of medicine.

Seth Goldberg, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Goldberg’s clinical interests are polycystic kidney disease (PKD), transplantation donor evaluation, calcium-phosphorus metabolism and bone-mineral disease, kidney stones, high blood pressure, and dialysis. As a researcher, his focus is on polycystic kidney disease (PKD), calcium-phosphorus metabolism and bone-mineral disease, and kidney stones. Dr. Goldberg is also co-director of the Nephrology Fellowship program and member of the world renowned WUSM Nephrology Faculty band.

Brittany Heady, Physicians Assistant – Certified

My goal is to improve patient education in both research and care after transplant. I began working at Washington University in December, 2012, in the renal transplant division. I currently see pre-and post-transplant patients in the clinic,rotate through the inpatient service, and see donors in the donor clinic. I participate in research by enrolling patients in clinical studies and am involved with consenting and obtaining specimens for KTRC, the Kidney Translational Research Core, for both transplant recipients and donors.

George Jarad, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Jarad’s clinical interests include kidney transplant, kidney transplant recipient evaluation, kidney disease in solid organ transplant recipient, glomerulonephritis, proteinuria, hematuria, high blood pressure, and hemodialysis. He is an active research scientist with focus in proteinuria, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, proteinuric kidney disease recurrence after kidney transplant, and Alport syndrome. Dr. Jarad is also an avid bicyclist and commutes to Washington University on bicycle.

Joanne Lauber, RN, Clinical Research Coordinator

I began my career at Washington University in 1982 at Chromalloy American Kidney Center as a dialysis nurse. In 1996, I took a position as a Research Coordinator in the Department of Neurology. Coordinating clinical trials for patients with multiple sclerosis, I was responsible for human studies forms, writing consent forms, patient recruitment, understanding and explaining research protocols, contract issues, budgets, scheduling of tests related to clinical trial, processing of labs, and completion of case report forms and electronic data capture. I also handled for the training and supervision of the research technician in the department. In 2007, I returned to the Division of Nephrology as a Renal Clinical Coordinator. In 2014, I took my current position as Relan Outpatient Coordinator, where I handle several clinical trials.

Tingting Li, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology
Director, Glomerular Diseases and Vasculitis Clinic

Glomerulonephritis, lupus nephritis, vasculities and amyloidosis are some of Dr. Li’s clinical interests. Dr. Li’s research focus is also upon glomerulonephritis, lupus nephritis and includes ANCA-associate vasculities and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Dr. Li was named Best Doctors in America, 2015-2017, by US News and World Report.

Andrew Malone, MB, BCh, Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Nephrology, Transplant

Dr. Malone’s clinical interests include recurrent glomerulonephritis, recurrent Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), antibody mediated rejection and living kidney donation. In his research work, Dr. Malone focuses on inherited kidney diseases, hereditary FSGS, mechanisms of recurrent FSGS, Alport Syndrome genetics and collagen related kidney diseases.

Anitha Vijayan, MD, FASN, Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Director, Acute Dialysis Services, Banes-Jewish Hospital, Barnes-Jewish West

Dr. Vijayan’s clinical interests include acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease/renal failure, high blood pressure, hypertension, proteinuria, hematuria, metabolic and electrolyte disorders, lupus nephritis, glomerulonephritis, vasculitis, kidney stones, hemodialysis, continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), therapeutic plasma exchange, and sepsis. Dr. Vijayan heads up some of our clinical trial with research interests in acute kidney injury: biomarkers, therapeutic interventions, renal replacement therapy, sepsis – extracorporeal treatments.

Helen Marie Wijeweera, Nurse Practitioner

My background includes a wide variety of both patient care and research activities. I previously served as a sub-investigator in pharmaceutical sponsored trials in endocrinology and was involved in Phase III clinical trials for investigational products for diabetes. In 2013, I moved from endocrinology to transplant nephrology. As part of a collaborative team involved in research, I recruit and consent subjects, as well as collect patient data and samples. I also take part in the weekly research committee meetings that formulate ideas for research projects in transplant nephrology. I have been involved in studies of the diagnosis of transplant rejection using biomarkers, BK and CMV detection and disease progression, diabetes after transplant, and the effectiveness of immunosuppression medications. Being actively involved in patient education, I am currently revising the patient education manual and working on updating the research education website for patients. I am also actively involved in professional education, including revision of Coordinator guidelines, nursing staff education and preceptor for student Nurse Practitioners.