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Nephrology Board Exam Committee

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Bernard G. Jaar, MD, Chair

Bernard G. Jaar, MD, ChairDr. Jaar is in private practice with the Nephrology Center of Maryland in Baltimore and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (part-time) in the Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with Joint Appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is also an Associate Faculty Member of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. He is board certified in Nephrology.

Dr. Jaar is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology Board Exam Committee. He has served on the editorial board of several nephrology journals and is currently the Section Editor for Epidemiology and Outcomes Research for BMC Nephrology. He is the immediate past Chair of the Medical Advisory Board and of the Grant Review Committee of the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland (NKFM). He is a member of the Board of Directors of the NKFM; he is also a member of National Kidney Foundation's Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative Education Committee. He is a member of the State of Maryland Commission on Kidney Disease and a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology and of the National Kidney Foundation. He received the President's Award and Volunteer of Year Award from the NKFM. He also received the Section Editor of the Year Award (2014) from BioMed Central, London, England.

Dr. Jaar received his medical degree from the State University of Haiti. He completed house staff training at the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, in Paris, France and obtained a nephrology degree from Paris 5 Descartes University before moving to the United States. He completed again his house staff training in internal medicine at the Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia and a fellowship in nephrology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He holds a master of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

As of August 2020, Dr. Jaar reported the following external relationships:

Work as an author or editor for following company, with compensation as listed:

  • BioMed Central Nephrology, Section Editor, without compensation.
  • UpToDate®, receiving compensation for co-authorship of a chapter on lead-related nephrotoxicity.
  • Springer Nature, Member of Editors' Advisory Group for BMC Series.

Dr. Jaar serves in significant roles with the following organizations, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • National Kidney Foundation of Maryland, Past Chairman, Medical Advisory Board; Past Chairman, Research Grant Committee, without compensation.
  • Kidney Commission for the State of Maryland, Past Chair, Education Committee, without compensation.

Phyllis August, MD

Phyllis August, MDDr. August is the Ralph A. Baer MD Professor of Research in Medicine, and a Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine. She is an Attending Physician at New York Presbyterian (NYP) Hospital-Weill Cornell, the Director of the NYP-Weill Cornell Hypertension Center, the Program Director for the Nephrology Fellowship training program at NYP Weill Cornell and the Director of the Theresa and Eugene Lang Center for Research and Education at New York Presbyterian Queens. She is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Nephrology.

Dr. August has been involved in clinical practice and clinical investigation related to hypertension, particularly in the context of pregnancy and/or kidney disease for over 30 years. She has been a member of several committees that have developed guidelines for the treatment of these conditions including The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist's Task Force, The National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on Hypertension and Pregnancy, and the Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure V and VI. Dr. August is an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. She is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology Board Exam Committee and the Medical Board of the Preeclampsia Foundation, and a former member of the Post-Graduate Education Committee for the American Society of Nephrology.

Dr. August received a bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard College, her medical degree from Yale University, and her masters of public health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed house staff training at Yale New Haven Hospital and the New York Hospital, and a fellowship in nephrology and hypertension at the New York Hospital/Weill Cornell.

As of August 2020, Dr. August reported the following external relationships:

Service on data and safety monitoring boards for the following company, with compensation as listed below:

  • Medtronic, for renal denervation study in patients with treatment-resistant hypertension, receiving honoraria.

Consulting on design of new drugs or devices, clinical trials, the use of specific agents or other research-related activities for the following company, with honoraria:

  • Bayer, Member, Event Adjudication Committee for a clinical trial.

Work as an author or editor for the following company, with compensation as listed below:

  • UpToDate®, for compensation as an author.

Michael J. Choi, MD

Dr. Choi, who is board certified in Nephrology, is Division Director of the Nephrology and Hypertension Division, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. Prior to this role, Dr. Choi was an Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical Director of Nephrology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was the former Nephrology Fellowship Program Director at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Choi is immediate past Presidentof the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and is a member of the NKF Board of Directors. He is the NKF-Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) Vice-Chair of Education. He served as a committee member for the KDOQI US Commentary on the 2012 Kidney Disease | Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Clinical Practice Guideline for Glomerulonephritis and the KDOQI US Commentary for the Primary Care Practitioner on the 2012 KDIGO Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease. He was Chair of the 2011 NKF Spring Clinical Meeting and was the 2015 NKF Garabed Eknoyan Award Winner. Dr. Choi is currently a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology Board Exam Committee. He was co-Editor of the Chronic Kidney Disease Section for the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Self-Assessment Program and the ASN Post-Graduate Educational Committee.

Dr. Choi served on the Editorial Board for the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. He was co-Editor of the Oxford American Handbook of Clinical Medicine" and the Oxford Manual of Nephrology and Hypertension and Deputy Editor for Advances in Chronic Kidney Diseases.

He was an undergraduate at Yale University, and medical student and internal medicine resident at Johns Hopkins. He was a nephrology fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

As of May 2019, Dr. Choi reported the following external relationships:

Work funded by educational grants from industry, paid to Johns Hopkins University, from the following companies:

    AstraZeneca, Co-chair of the Mid-Atlantic Nephrology Young Investigators Research Forum, receiving honoraria.

Dr. Choi serves in significant roles with the following organization, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • National Kidney Foundation, Past President, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.

Dr. Choi also received honoraria from INMED Pharmaceuticals for providing National Kidney Foundation highlights and updates on Chronic Kidney Disease and Mineral Bone Disorder.

William W. LeCates, MD

William W. LeCates, MDDr. LeCates is a Senior Attending Physician in nephrology at the Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Since 2011, he has also served as the Medical Director of the Bassett Medical Center.

Previously, he was the Program Director for the Bassett Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency. He also served in the Unites States Army and is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, and Operation Onward Liberty, Liberia. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. Dr. LeCates is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology Board Exam Committee.

Dr. LeCates was an undergraduate at Amherst College where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also served as an Assistant Chief of Service on the Osler Medical Service of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

As of February 2019, Dr. LeCates reported the following external relationship:

Dr. LeCates reported that he serves as President of Bassett Medical Center.

Edgar V. Lerma, MD

Dr. Lerma, who is board certified in Nephrology, is Clinical Professor of Medicine with the University of Illinois College (UIC) of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. He is also the Educational Coordinator for Nephrology at the UIC/Advocate Christ Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency Training Program in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

He is a member of Associates in Nephrology, S.C., which is a 30+ group of practicing clinical nephrologists serving the suburbs of Chicago and northwest Indiana, and has an active and very busy clinical practice. Having previously served as Chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology Self-Assessment Committee, he has been an inaugural member of the ABIM Item Writing Development Task Force for Nephrology and continues to serve in this role at present. He also serves as the Education Committee Chair of the American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology (2018-20). Recently, he was appointed as the KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) Knowledge Translation Chair.

He is a previous member of the American Society of Nephrology's (ASN) Committee on Education and also participated in the development of several self-assessment projects, including the National Lipid Association's NLA-SAP, ASN's KSAP and as a peer reviewer for ASN's NephSAP. He previously served as Director of Research for the UIC/Advocate Christ Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency Training Program.

A frequently requested speaker, Dr. Lerma serves on a number of editorial boards, as Associate Editor for Journal of Clinical Lipidology and Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism, and as Section Editor for Geriatric Nephrology for International Urology and Nephrology. In addition, he has authored several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. He has also edited several books. Dr. Lerma received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Santo Tomas (UST)College of Science and medical degree from the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in Manila, Philippines. He did his internal medicine residency training at UIC/Mercy Hospital and Medical Center and fellowship training in nephrology and hypertension at Northwestern University/Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.

As of November 2020, Dr. Lerma reported the following external relationship:

Service on a research-related expert panel or advisory board for the following company, with honoraria:

  • Otsuka Takeda

Dr. Lerma serves in significant roles with the following organization, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American Heart Association, Member of Leadership Group of AHA Council on Kidney and Cardiovascular Diseases, without compensation.

John C. Lieske, MD

John C. Lieske, MDDr. Lieske, board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology, is Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and the Director of the Renal Function Laboratory in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic. He is also Principal Investigator for the Mayo Clinic O'Brien Urology Research Center; Assistant Director for the Rare Kidney Stone Consortium and Director of the Dent Disease component; and Principal Investigator for the Mayo National Institute of Health (NIH) Nephrology Training Grant. From 1993 to 2000, Dr. Lieske was a faculty member at the University of Chicago before being recruited to Mayo Clinic in 2000.

He has a longstanding interest in urinary proteomics and nephrolithiasis, including NIH-funded projects to investigate inhibitors of crystal aggregation, growth and adhesion to tubular cells; epidemiology of nephrolithiasis; genetics of nephrolithiasis; and mechanisms of enteric hyperoxaluria. As Director of the Renal Function Lab, Dr. Lieske has also developed expertise regarding renal markers of renal disease, including tandem mass spectrometry-based assays for urinary biomarkers and validation of newer markers of injury and kidney function (e.g., cystatin C, NGAL). Dr. Lieske has previously conducted clinical trials regarding the role of diet and probiotics in patients with and without enteric hyperoxaluria. He has also studied the epidemiology of enteric hyperoxaluria and kidney disease after bariatric surgery.

He serves as a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology Board Exam Committee.

Dr. Lieske earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University and his medical degree at the University of Chicago. He did fellowships at the University of Chicago in Research Nephrology and Clinical Nephrology, and residency training and internship at Emory University.

As of July 2019, Dr. Lieske reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to the Mayo Clinic, from the following companies:

  • Allena, study of an oxalate-degrading enzyme in hyperoxaluric kidney stone formers.
  • OxThera, for a trial of oxalobacter to treat primary hyperoxaluria.
  • Siemens, for a clinical trial.
  • Dicerna, for a clinical trial.
  • Alnylam, for a clinical trial on potential siRNA therapy for primary hyperoxaluria.

Attendance at investigators’ meetings, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria from the following companies

  • Alnylam, participating in a study kick-off meeting, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.
  • Allena, participating in a study kick-off meeting, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.

Service on a research-related expert panel or advisory board for the following companies, with honoraria:

  • Alnylam
  • Ofran

Consulting on design of new drugs or devices, clinical trials, the use of specific agents or other research-related activities, paid to the Mayo Clinic, for the following company, with compensation as listed:

  • OxThera, providing advice regarding trial design and interpretation for hyperoxaluria receiving research funding provided to the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Lieske serves in significant roles with the following organization, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation, member of Scientific Advisory Board, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.

Michal L. Melamed, MD, MHS

Dr. Melamed is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology & Population Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center. She is also the Nephrology Fellowship Training Program Director and is a Principal Investigator on the National Institute of Health Nephrology Training Grant. She is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Nephrology.

Dr. Melamed is currently a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology Board Exam Committee. She is also the Program Chair for the New York Society of Nephrology. She has served on the Program Committees of both the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology annual meetings. She works as a clinical investigator studying risk factors for the progression of kidney disease. Dr. Melamed has published more than 80 original scientific communications in the scientific literature. She serves on the editorial board of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Dr. Melamed received a bachelor’s degree from New York University’s College of Arts and Sciences where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude. She received her medical degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. She received her master’s in health sciences degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed her house staff and nephrology fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

As of April 2019, Dr. Melamed reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses from the following companies:

  • Icon Medical, serving as an event adjudicator for a clinical trial, receiving funding for salary support.

Dr. Melamed serves in significant roles with the following organization, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • New York Society of Nephrology, Treasurer, without compensation.

Dena Rifkin, MD

Dr. Rifkin, an Associate Professor at the University of California, San Diego, is a board certified internist and nephrologist. She serves as Director of Dialysis Services, VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Dr. Rifkin was previously an instructor at Tufts Medical School in Boston. Prior to that role, she was an instructor at Yale University School of Medicine, where she served as Chief Medical Resident.

Dr. Rifkin is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology Board Exam Committee. She serves as chair of the 2017 National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting. She holds a K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases focused on blood pressure patterns in the elderly, and an R03 award on cognition and blood pressure patterns. Dr. Rifkin recently received a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Merit Review Award for a clinical trial of self- management of hypertension.

She holds an undergraduate degree in computer science, magna cum laude, from Harvard University. Dr. Rifkin earned her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine.

As of September 2020, Dr. Rifkin reported the following external relationships:

Work as an author or editor for following companies, with compensation as listed:

  • Elsevier, co-Editor of the National Kidney Foundation's Primer on Kidney Diseases, receiving compensation.

Silas P. Norman, MD, MPH

Dr. Norman is the current Co-Medical Director of Kidney and Pancreas transplantation at the University of Michigan. He is board certified in Nephrology. Since 2003 he has worked as a transplant nephrologist at the University of Michigan Transplant Center.

He is the Director of the Transplant Multi-Specialty Clinic and Kidney Transplant Outreach Clinics. He is also a long-standing member on the medical school Admissions Executive Committee. Dr. Norman is a member of the Michigan Medicine Clinical Excellence Society.

He is on the Board of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan and the Board of Trustees for the American Kidney Fund. Dr. Norman previously served for more than a decade on a number of committees for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) including the Minority Affairs, Policy Oversight and Kidney Transplantation Committees and the UNOS Board of Directors. Dr. Norman has served as a reviewer for the American Journal of Transplantation, the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and Clinical Transplantation.

Dr. Norman received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Michigan and his medical degree from Wayne State University. He completed his residency training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He completed his nephrology; transplant nephrology and Master of Public Health degree at the University of Michigan.

As of April 2021, Dr.  Norman reported the following external relationships:

Funding for salary support, clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to the University of Michigan, from the following companies:

  • Astellas, for a study of bleselumab for prevention of Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis.
  • AlloVir, for a study of ALVR10 to prevent life-threatening infections and diseases post-transplantation.
  • Natera, for a study of a transplant rejection test that uses a blood draw to assess the risk of rejection of a transplanted kidney.

Dr. Norman serves in significant roles with the following organizations, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, Member, without compensation.
  • American Kidney Fund, Member, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.
  • Detroit Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program, Foundation Board Member, without compensation.
  • American Society of Transplantation, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (to Life) (IDEAL) Taskforce Member, without compensation.