UCSF features expertise in kidney care and work on artificial kidney

More than 37 million Americans are living with chronic kidney disease. Almost 750,000 Americans are dealing with the stark reality of end stage renal disease (ESRD), when their kidneys no longer function well enough to sustain life on their own.

For World Kidney Day on March 12, UCSF.edu presented a Q&A article featuring a team of UC San Francisco kidney experts – including a nephrologist, a transplant surgeon, a transplant pharmacist, and a bioengineer developing an implantable bioartificial kidney – to shine a light on the problem of kidney disease, share their hopes for the future, and demonstrate UCSF’s unique role as a multidisciplinary hub for kidney disease treatment and research.

Patients with the bioartificial kidney will be able to travel and drink and eat freely. Moreover, the cells in the bioreactor will be protected from the patient’s immune system, so anti-rejection drugs will not be required. -Shuvo Roy, PhD

Lynda Frassetto, MD, a UCSF physician trained in nephrology, outlines the slow progression of most incidences of kidney disease, current risk factors, and treatment options.

A prototype of Shuvo Roy's artifical kidney
Susan Merrell

One of the prototype devices being developed by Shuvo Roy, PhD.

UCSF Medical Center veteran organ transplant surgeon Christopher Freise, MD, shares his research on solving the problems of limited supplies of donor organs and transplant rejection, while David Quan, PharmD, a specialized transplant pharmacist at UCSF Medical Center, explains the medication challenges facing kidney disease patients.

Shuvo Roy, PhD, a faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, talks about the research under way for an implantable bioartificial kidney, which aims to bring a new treatment option to ESRD patients to both improve health and quality of life.


School of Pharmacy, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, PharmD Degree Program

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.