Division of Nephrology and Hypertension

Faculty of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension conduct research and treat people with kidney diseases of various types, such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, diabetes, high blood pressure, and the more advanced forms of kidney disease.

To learn more about our faculty, follow the links below to access their Georgetown University faculty profiles. If a particular faculty member doesn't have a link, their profile is currently under development and will be available shortly.

Also within the division, faculty of the Center for Hypertension, Kidney & Vascular Research investigate the mechanisms that underlie high blood pressure (hypertension), kidney and vascular (blood vessel) diseases and train the next generation of leaders in these fields.

Christopher Wilcox, MD, PhD
Chief of Nephrology and Hypertension
Director of the Center for Hypertension, Kidney and Vascular Research.

George E. Schreiner Chair of Nephrology

Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Medical Degree: Oxford University, UK, 1969
Ph.D: Oxford University, UK, 1974
Internship: London University, UK, 1970
Residency: London University, 1971
Fellowship: London University, UK, 1973
Certifications: Internal Medicine, 1986; Nephrology, 1992; Certified Hypertension Specialist, 1999

Dr.Wilcox has been the Chief of the Georgetown Nephrology Division and the George E.Schreiner Professor of Nephrology since 1994. Prior to this he held distinguished positions at University of Florida, Harvard Medical School, Yale Medical School, University of Cambridge, and London University. He holds numerous grants and leads a large group of clinical and basic scientists, who are actively and continuously publishing the latest developments in their field. He has been Chair of several NIH/NIDDK Study Sections, and is the Vice Chair and Chair Elect of the AHA Council of High Blood Pressure Research. He has received many national and international honors and distinguished lecturer positions.

He is a dedicated mentor for many faculty and fellows of the Georgetown Nephrology and Hypertension Division.

His research is focused on the interaction between blood pressure and the kidney. His basic research entails studies of genes, cells, tissues and animal models. Currently, he is investigating the hypothesis that oxidative stress is a proximate cause of most of the diseases of the second half of life. He studies this in animal models of hypertension, kidney disease, menopause and aging using a combination of methods including isolated, perfused renal afferent and mesenteric arterioles from mice, and long term whole animal studies. He has developed new catalytic long-acting drugs to combat oxidative stress and validated them in his rat and mouse models. His clinical/translated research is focused on better methods to manage the complications of chronic kidney disease and hypertension. He investigates small human arterioles dissected from a skin biopsy to study the origin of vascular disease. He is developing a new long-acting diuretic that he has taken through Phase 1 clinical trials in normal subjects. He hopes to be able to test the new antioxidant drug in patients in the future.

Robert Rubin, MD

Clinical Professor of Medicine

Georgetown University Medical Center
Division of Nephrology and Hypertension
3800 Reservoir Road, NW, 6 PHC, Suite F 6003
Washington, DC 20007

Medical Degree: 1970 MD, Cornell University Medical College
1966 A.B., Williams College
Internship: New England Medical Center Hospitals, Boston, Intern, 1971
Residency: New England Medical Center Hospital, Boston, Jr Assistant Resident, 1973
Fellowship: New England Medical Center Hospital, Boston Fellow, Nephrology, 1976
Certifications: Internal Medicine, 1975; Nephrology, 1978
Special Interests: Outcomes Research, Pharmacoeconomics, Health Care Policy.

Dr. Rubin joined the Nephrology faculty in 1981 as a visiting professor while he served as Assistant Surgeon General and an Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Health and Human Services. He currently sees patients with a wide variety of nephrology problems with an emphasis on hypertension. Dr. Rubin runs our bi-monthly journal club. He is an expert on pharmacoeconomics, public policy and clinical epidemiology and frequently advises medical specialty societies, government, and industry on these matters.

Kathryn Sandberg, PhD

Director, Center for Sex Differences,
Vice Chairman of Research, Department of Medicine

Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Masters Degree: Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Program, Johns Hopkins University, 1984
Doctoral Degree: Biological Chemistry, University of Maryland, 1987
Postdoctoral Fellowships: Intramural Research Training Award, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, 1989
Special Interests: Molecular mechanisms regulation angiotensin receptor and other G protein-coupled receptor mRNAs? The role of alternative splicing and minicistrons in regulating angiotensin receptor and other G protein-coupled receptor expression. Impairment of the renin angiotensin system in progressive renal and cardiovascular disease in women. Sex steroids regulating the renin angiotensin system? 

William Welch, PhD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Ph.D: Physiology, University of Kentucky, 1983
Postdoctoral Training: Hypertension Endocrinology with T.A. Kotchen, MD, 1983-85

Dr. Welch directs the Renal Physiology research laboratory of the Division of Nephrology. His research focuses on the kidney’s ability to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance and how this regulates systemic blood pressure. Renal micropuncture and microperfusion of renal tubules are the main tools used to investigate single nephron function and microcirculatory blood flow. He continues to train post-doctoral fellows in this specialized technique, which historically has provided the most discrete data to identify transport and blood flow function in the kidney. His work is supported by NIH-funded grants, which focus on renal hormones, oxidative stress and oxygen metabolism.  

Michael Lipkowitz, MD

Clinical Director of the Nephrology and Hypertension Division
Program Director for the Nephrology Fellowship at Georgetown
Associate Professor of Medicine

Medical Degree: State Univerisity of NY, 1978
Internship: Internal Medicine, Carney Hospital, 1979
Residency: Internal Medicine Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1981
Fellowship: Nephrology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, 1984
Certifications: Internal Medicine, 1981; Nephrology, 1984
Special Interests: Hypertension, Chronic Kidney Disease, Genetics of Chronic Kidney Disease, Hypertension and Kidney Disease in Special Populations

Dr. Lipkowitz is the Clinical Director of the Nephrology and Hypertension Division. He is also the Program Director for the Georgetown Nephrology Fellowship. He has a strong interest in clinical and translational research, particularly as related to chronic kidney disease. He was an investigator in the NIH sponsored multicenter African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) and he has published extensively on the progression and predictors of CKD. He chaired the Genetics Committee of AASK, and obtained ancillary funding to collect DNA from the AASK patients. His other NIH funded research has focused on genetics and proteomics of chronic kidney disease, and most recently has shown that the APOL1 gene is a potent predictor of progression in hypertensive nephropathy in African Americans. Research at Georgetown will look further at the role of APOL1 in kidney disease to try to understand the mechanism of action of APOL1 in the kidney.
In addition to his roles at Georgetown, Dr. Lipkowitz is on the Steering Committee of the local chapter of the National Kidney Foundation and is the President Elect of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Society of Hypertension. 

Dr. Lipkowitz’ clinical interests include CKD, hypertension, polycystic kidney disease, and onconephrology. 

Ji Hong, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Medical Degree: West China University of Medical Sciences, 1984
Residency: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, P.R. China, 1988

Dr. Hong Ji has a longstanding interest in the molecular physiology started at the NIH , after which she joined Georgetown Department of Medicine in 1996. Her interest includes the renin angiotensin aldosterone system in animal models of hypertension and associated vascular and kidney disease. Dr Ji's research expertise lies in cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, mRNA and protein expression, translational regulation, signal transduction, radiotelemetry, renal hemodynamics and mouse breeding and recently with T cell purification and cytokine expression.  

Enyin Lai, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Medical Degree: 08/1980 – 08/1983: Gannan Medical College, Jiangxi, China
PhD: 02/2002 – 06/2007: Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Dr. Enyin Lai is an associate professor of Nephrology at Georgetown. He joined Dr. Wilcox’s group as a post-doc in 2007. He was promoted to an assistant professor in 2008 and became an associate professor in 2012. He has been working with many basic and clinical projects through his career and on multiple projects supported nu the NIH. He isolated and perfused mouse afferent arterioles in the kidney and utilized both confocal and PTI systems to measure renal afferent arteriole’s diameter, ROS, NO, and calcium. His research is focused on the redox regulation of myogenic responses and an adenosine and angioten II receptor in renal microvascular physiology. He has conducted both basic research and translation research with 35 papers published in peer-reviewed journals such as Circulation Research, Hypertension and Diabetes. He is an expert in mouse afferent arteriolar microperfusion, renal vascular physiology, and molecular cell physiology of vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells in chronic kidney diseases and hypertension. Last year he was appointed as a full Professor of Physiology at the University of Zhejiang University, Hongzhou, China, but spends three months each year as a faculty member in the Division of Nephrology at Georgetown.  

Carlos Palant, MD

Chief, Renal Section, Washington DC VA Medical Center
Associate Professor of Medicine

Medical Degree: National Univ. of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1973
Post Graduate Training: Internal Medicine Dept. Hospital, Italiano, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1976
Post Graduate Training: Barzilai Medical Ctr., Ashkelon, Israel, 1980
Fellowship: SUNY Buffalo, New York, 1984

Dr. Palant is the Chief of the Renal Section at the Washington DC VA Medical Center (VAMC). He is a lead faculty whom fellows work with at the VA. His special interests include renal physiology and clinical translational research. Research activities encompass the following areas: (1) epidemiology of acute kidney injury, development of novel types of dialysis filters, cardio-renal syndrome pathophysiology, mesangial cell calcium physiology; (2) role of renal artery denervation in the treatment of refractory hypertension; (3) epidemiology of acute kidney injury, critical care nephrology; (4) role of gravitational fields on yeast genetics, renal tubular transport systems. He also supports potential epidemiologic studies utilizing the VA CPRS database. He enjoys working with fellows and allows active participation with many of his endeavors.

Vasilios Papademetriou, MD

Director of Hypertension and Interventional Cardiology at the Washington DC VA Medical Center
Associate Professor of Medicine

Medical Degree: Athens University Medical School, 1974
Internship: Hellenic Anticancer Institute Athens, Greece, 1975
Residency: General State Hospital Athens, Greece, 1978
International Kidney Unit Athens, Greece, 1979
Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, D.C., 1983
Fellowship: Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 1980
Fellow in Hypertension, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC, 1982
Certifications: Internal Medicine, 1985 ; Cardiology, 1987

Dan Wang, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Medical Education: MD, Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, P.R.China, 1983.
Ph.D: Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, P.R.China, Nephrology, 1994

Dr. Wang has been an integral part of the Basic and Clinical Translational Research at Georgetown. She has supported her research through multiple grants. Her fields of interest includes microvascular physiology: reactivity, endothelial function and remodeling of resistance vessels in hypertension, chronic renal disease and HIV. Her most recent major research projects include: a) Mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction of resistance vessels in patients with HIV/AIDS and chronic renal disease; b). Mechanisms of oxidative stress on afferent arteriole and systemic resistance vessels; c). Translational vascular research program.

Magali Araujo, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Graduate Education: University of Sao Paulo, Dept. of Physiology, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1996
PhD: Federal University of Sao Paulo, Dept. of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1999-2002

Dr. Araujo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Discipline of Nephrology and Hypertension at Georgetown University. She is a Physiologist in training with an extensive background in renal pathophysiology. During 15 years of research at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, her studies focused of acute kidney injury (AKI), and she conducted relevant basic research and actively participated in clinical studies, which resulted in several peer-reviewed publications. In addition to her laboratory research, she trained and co-mentored several undergraduate and graduate students in Brazil. Dr Araujo has also a substantial training in molecular biology and cell biology acquired during her training at the Uniformed Services University (USU). At Georgetown University her scientific research focus on projects to study renal tubular transport of sodium and regulation of glomerular filtration rate by tubuloglomerular feedback in animal models of hypertension. Dr. Araujo is a recognized expert in the micropuncture technique.

Serban Dragoi, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical Degree: Carol Davila University, Romania, 1997
Internship: Internal Medicine, Yale University, 2001
Residency: Internal Medicine, Yale University, 2004
Fellowship: Nephrology, Columbia University,  2006
Certifications: Internal Medicine, 2004; Nephrology, 2006

Dr .Dragoi has been a member of the Nephrology Division since 2008. He has a strong interest in patient care. He helped to build up Washington DC’s only Home Only Dialysis Unit. His special clinical interests include: CKD management, glomerulonephritis, and dialysis modalities, especially home dialysis.

Judit Gordon-Cappitelli MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical Degree: Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia PA, 2005
Internship: Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia PA,2006
Residency: Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia PA, 2008
Fellowship: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 2011
Certification: Internal Medicine 2008, Nephrology 2011

Dr.Gordon-Cappitelli completed her fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, where she was an instructor prior to joining Georgetown Nephrology. She enjoys patient care, teaching fellows, residents and students. She has taken a passionate interest in improving and revising the Georgetown Nephrology Fellowship curriculum and serves as Associate Fellowship Director. Her clinical interests include home dialysis modalities, CKD and hypertension management, glomerular diseases and pregnancy related hypertension and renal disease. Her research interest is focused on non-invasive measures of endothelial dysfunction and is working closely with Dr.Wilcox to establish the Human Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory.  

Lingli Li, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine 

Medical Degree: 1978.9 – 1983.8 Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, China
PhD: 2001.2 – 2006.5 Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Dr. Li is a member of the Basic Science Faculty. Her special interests include: Physiology of renal microcirculation, redox regulation of renal afferent arteriolar contractility, and mouse renal afferent arterioles microperfusion techniques. 

Zaiming Luo, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical Degree: Secondary Military Medical University, Shanhai, P.R.China, 1985
Residency: Dept.of Medicine, Chang Zhen Hospital, Shanghai, P.R. China 1987

Dr.Luo joined the Georgetown Nephrology research staff in 2005, after his Postdoctoral Research position at University of Virginia. He has been an important part of the success of the Basic Science team of Georgetown Nephrology and has had multiple grants supporting his work. His special interests include: Molecular mechanisms of oxidative stress-mediated vascular dysfunction. More specifically he studies: Molecular alternations of vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells in hypertension and chronic kidney diseases; comparisons of RNA and micro-RNA profiles of normal and injured renal afferent arterioles; and roles of cytoprotective gene Nrf2 and MicroRNAs in premature senescence of vascular cells.  

Chanigan Nilubol, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical Degree: Chalalongkorn University, Thailand, 1999
Internship: Queen Sawangwattana Memorial Hospital, 20001
Residency: Internal Medicine, St Elizabeth Health Center, Youngstown, OH, 2004
Fellowship: Nephrology, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, WI 2007; Columbia University Medical Center, NY, 2009
Certifications: Internal Medicine, 2004; Nephrology, 2007

Dr Nilubol received her nephrology fellowship training at University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she developed her interest and passion in kidney transplantation. She then completed her transplant nephrology fellowship at Columbia University and became a faculty member at SUNY Downstate Medical Center before joining Georgetown Nephrology faculty as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in 2010. Her clinical expertise and research interests include living kidney donor evaluation and their outcomes, medically complex kidney donors, disease progression and long term management of kidney transplant recipients. She has also developed growing interest in genetic predisposing factors for kidney disease in high-risk population and the implications of becoming a kidney donor.  

Wen Shen MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical Eduction: MD/PhD, Fudan University Shanghai Medical College Shanghai, China, 2001
Postdoctoral Training: Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Internship: Internal Medicine, Yale University Bridgeport Hospital, CT 2006
Residency: Internal Medicine, Yale University Bridgeport Hospital, CT 2009
Fellowship: Nephrology, Harvard University Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, Boston MA, 2012 

Dr. Shen is an academic nephrologist who is actively involved in both patient care and clinical research. She has conducted research projects in identifying the role of cytoskeletal proteins in the pathogenesis of glomerular disease and ApoL1 gene mutation in non-diabetic kidney disease. Her research is published in peer reviewed journals and presented multiple times at national conferences. She was also granted a research award from the National Kidney Foundation and was honored with a Young Investigator Award by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Currently she is focusing on two clinical research projects. One project explores a new approach to treating proteinuric kidney disease by inhibiting urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR). Another project studies the effect of delayed release torsemide in the management of hypertension in patients with chronic kidney disease. Her clinical interest include: Hypertension, Diabetic Nephropathy, Glomerulonephritis, bone metabolism in CKD, and renal disease and hypertension in pregnancy.