The diseases defining primary nephrotic syndrome (NS) are minimal change disease (MCD), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and membranous nephropathy (MN). They are characterized by heavy proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, edema and hyperlipidemia, often leading to progressive loss of kidney function.

The mission of Primary Nephrotic Syndrome Clinic is to develop individualized and highly-targeted treatments to cure proteinuric kidney disease in the era of genomic and precision medicine.

We dedicate our clinical and research resources to investigating underlying molecular mechanisms of proteinuria, evaluating genotype-phenotype correlations, identifying disease-progression biomarkers, and designing innovative, mechanism-based clinical trials.

This clinic is directed by Ying (Maggie) Chen, MD, PhD. Dr. Chen is a Nephrotic Syndrome Specialist who treats rare, protein-spilling kidney diseases, as designated by NephCure Kidney International.

Ying (Maggie) Chen, Director of the Nephrotic Syndrome Clinic

Personalized Clinical Management

  • The clinic aims to establish a range of molecular and clinical information for each patient, including DNA sequence, gene expression and histology from kidney biopsies and blood and urine samples.
  • Classify patients into different subgroups based on specific molecular mechanisms.
  • Provide evidence-based and pioneering therapies.


  • We actively investigate disease pathogenesis by generating human podocyte, zebra fish and mouse models recapitulating human NS patients carrying pathogenic gene mutations.
  • We perform translational research to develop and validate blood and urine biomarkers for early diagnosis, progression prediction, and treatment response monitoring.
  • We undertake clinical research to conduct highly-targeted therapeutic trials based on novel drug targets.

We are also partnering with Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE), with patient advocacy organizations, and with pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Chen was invited to present a lecture about “Nephrotic syndrome diagnosis and management: traditional and novel approaches” for the American Society of Nephrology annual meeting Early Program, Glomerular Disease 2023 Update. Please see video below: