Kidney complications, because of cancer or its treatment, are becoming increasingly more prevalent in our population. Treatments for these onco-nephrology conditions are changing rapidly, and exciting new advances in basic and clinical research offer a promise of even more effective therapies to come.
As a research-intensive section in the Internal Medicine division, our faculty, fellows, and staff provide state-of-the-art clinical care for patients with kidney diseases and generate new knowledge with the ultimate goals of improving our understanding and treatment of these diseases. The research is fostered by several NIH-funded grants. We also teach Onco-Nephrology to medical students, residents, and fellows, while training the next generation of Onco-Nephrologists through our outstanding Onco-Nephrology fellowship program. Under the direction of Farhad Danesh, M.D., the Section of Nephrology includes eight clinical faculty members and three research faculty members. In 2014, the Section of Nephrology established and received approval (TMB 503-19-45-67) for the first Onco-Nephrology Fellowship Program. The program was approved as a 1- to 2-year fellowship for two trainees per year. Five fellows have completed the program since its inception. The Onco-Nephrology fellowship training is 12 months in duration with the option of an additional 12 months.
Praveen Ratanasrimetha, M.D.
Nephrology Fellowship: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand
Anna-Eve Turcotte, M.D.
Nephrology Fellowship: University of Sherbrooke
Hometown: Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Harini Bejjanki, M.D.
2020 - 2021
Dr. Bejjanki is currently in private practice in Houston, TX. She attended the MNR Medical College in Fasalwadi, India, completed her postgraduate training in internal medicine at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan and her nephrology fellowship at the University of Florida.
Jamie Lin, M.D.
2017 - 2019
Dr. Lin is currently an Instructor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. She attended the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine and completed her postgraduate training at the Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Lin attended the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine for her nephrology fellowship prior to moving to Houston and serve as an Onco-Nephrology fellow at MD Anderson. Dr. Lin is a recipient of a NIH K08 award, under Dr. Farhad Danesh’s mentorship an is the Sharon Anderson Research Fellow, American Society of Nephrology, 2017-2019. In addition, her 2019 DARRT Project was selected for MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Commission of Cancer Standards.
Jaya Kala, M.D.
2015 - 2016
Dr. Kala currently is an Assistant Professor and Chair of Onco-Nephrology at the University of Texas Health Science Center - McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX. Dr. Kala also enjoys a joint appointment with Section of Nephrology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She attended the Lady Hardinge Medical College, University of Delhi, India and completed her postgraduate training at the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Texas - McGovern Medical School. Dr. Kala has received the 2019 NFK Young Investigator Research Grant Award, Southeast Texas Research Grant and is the Principal Investigator: Isosorbide Mononitrate for Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Induced Kidney Injury.
Charles Minn, M.D.
2014 - 2015
Omar Mamlouk, M.B.B.S.
2019 - 2020
Dr. Mamlouk joined the section of Nephrology’s faculty in December 2020. He attended the Jordan University of Science and Technology and completed his postgraduate training at Harvard Medical School and the University of Texas – McGovern Medical School. Dr. Mamlouk’s clinical areas of interest include: onco-nephrology, immunotherapy nephrotoxicity (check point inhibitor and CAR-T cell), stem cell related thrombotic microangiopathy. His main research area is studying the epidemiology and treatment of checkpoint inhibitor related nephrotoxicity.
Umet Selmet, M.D.
2016 - 2017
Dr. Selmet is currently an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Medical School and an Onco-Nephrologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston. She graduated from Istanbul University in 2000 and completed her postgraduate felowship training at the University of California, San Diego in 2016. Following her Onco-Nephrology training at MD Anderson, she served as the Director of the Onco-Nephrology Program at the UCLA prior to her current position.
About the Program
Onco-Nephrology is an emerging medical subspecialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of renal disease in cancer patients. Although kidney disease is very common in cancer patients, most Nephrology trainees have little exposure to renal syndromes that are unique to patients with cancer, being caused either by the cancer itself or by its treatment.
Training in Onco-Nephrology provides experience in the management of:
- Nephrotoxicity from traditional chemotherapy as well as targeted therapy
- Renal disease after stem cell transplant
- Myeloma-related kidney disease
- Paraneoplastic renal disease
- Electrolyte disorders secondary to cancer or cancer therapy
Additional experience would be gained in Critical Care Nephrology and renal replacement therapy. Furthermore, the fellow will gain valuable experience in the psychosocial aspects of renal replacement therapy during “near” end-of-life care. Cases that are rare in standard Nephrology fellowship training programs are commonly seen by the Section of Nephrology at MD Anderson. After the completion of one year of training, the fellow is expected to be knowledgeable about appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to cancer patients who present with renal complications.
- The fellowship will be composed of nine months of clinical duties and three months devoted to research. Clinical duties will include providing care on the inpatient consult service as well as two half-day outpatient clinics. Research may be bench-driven or clinical as deemed most appropriate by the fellow and program director. The goal will be to complete an abstract and/or manuscript by the end of the fellowship. An optional 2nd year of fellowship may be pursued if mutually agreed upon by the fellow and program director. The reason for the additional year is to provide an option for trainees who want to have further clinical training or to have more time for research.
The Onco-Nephrology Fellowship Program is approved by the MD Anderson Graduate Medical Education Committee and the Texas Medical Board. This program is a non-ACGME accredited program but adheres to the ACGME guidelines.
The Section of Nephrology at MD Anderson provides many opportunities for the direct care of cancer patients. The fellow will experience the field of Onco-Nephrology by treating patients under the direct supervision of the MD Anderson faculty. The fellow will examine patients on the inpatient Nephrology consult service as well as in the outpatient clinics at MD Anderson. The fellow will be interacting with rotating nephrology fellows from Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. The fellow will perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as formulate care plans specific for the cancer patient with renal complications. The initial four weeks will consist of an orientation period where the fellow will be directly supervised by the staff physician. A didactic curriculum composed of core lectures given by the faculty will further enhance understanding and training of the fellow during orientation.
During the next phase (4-8 weeks), the fellow will have progressive increase in clinical duties under the direct supervision of an assigned faculty member. There will be a progressive and incremental increase in patient care responsibilities as the fellow demonstrates the skills outlined in the competency-based goals and objectives. Upon successful completion of this phase, the fellow will have a face-to-face meeting with the program director to discuss advancement in fellow status. The fellow will then be incorporated into the regular Nephrology rotation. Further instruction and supervision will be introduced as needed in this phase. The fellow will have the opportunity to discuss clinical cases and receive feedback regarding performance in weekly debriefing sessions with the supervising faculty and/or program director. These sessions will further direct topics for discussion in lectures provided by the staff.
Fellows will participate in clinical activities under faculty supervision:
Applicants must hold either a M.D./D.O. degree or foreign equivalent along with a valid certificate from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). The applicant also must have a USMLE Step I and USMLE Step II CK & CS, FLEX, SPEX, or COMPLEX exam transcript as part of a minimum list of documents. Before an applicant can be considered for appointment, the following requirements must be received:
- Completed online application form
- Curriculum vitae
- An accredited fellowship program in Nephrology
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official Medical School Transcript
- Letters of Good Standing from current clinical training program
- Certificates from all completed internship, residency, or fellowship training programs
- ECFMG certificate, if applicable
- Licensure Exam Transcripts
- Credential evaluation of foreign medical school transcript(s)
- Personal interview with faculty members
Consideration of fellowship candidates occurs in the fall for a start date of July 1 the following year. The Onco-Nephrology Fellowship Program Committee interviews candidates and extends offers based on the outcomes from the interviews.
If you are interested in applying, contact the program coordination, Lisa M. Welsh-Skiffington to request a New Innovations/DISCOVER application account and initiate the process. Applications open in the fall.
- World’s best restaurants from dives to high end. You can dine around the world without leaving town.
- Numerous parks, including Hermann Park which has an outdoor theater and large zoo.
- An academic and cultural arena that includes Baylor College of Medicine, Rice, University of Houston, and St. Thomas Universities, the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Contemporary Arts, and Menil Collection.
- Close proximity to Houston's noted symphony orchestra, opera, theater and ballet.
- Great sports teams: Rockets, Astros, Dash, Dynamos, and Texans.
- Other sites of various activities available within a few minutes' drive include Moody Gardens, Sam Houston Race Park, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, SplashTown Waterpark, Downtown Aquarium, Space Center Houston, Lone Star Flight Museum, San Jacinto Battlefield, NRG Stadium, Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center and the George R. Brown Convention Center.
- The cost of living is moderate and housing is very reasonable.
- View the MD Anderson About Houston page and Why Houston Guide.
- For entertainment, restaurants and things to do, visit Houston Culture Map.
- Compensation: GME Stipend Levels for Fiscal Year 2020-2021
- Vacation: 3 weeks per year with flexibility on choice of vacation time.
- Book and Travel Funds: Residents are awarded $3,000 over the four year program divided into two funds, books/educational material ($1000) and travel/conferences/workshop ($2000). In addition, residents are sponsored by the program for 1-2 conferences annually ($2000 per conference).
- Fitness Facilities: Free access to the 16,000 square foot institutional fitness center with strength-training cardiovascular equipment, yoga, spin and group exercise rooms. The center is open Monday thru Saturday and closed on Sunday. Free group classes are available to MD Anderson employees. Personal trainers are available for a fee.
- Benefits: Complete benefits package that includes medical, dental and disability insurance, a parking subsidy, institutional cell phone and laptop. Please see Graduate Medical Education Trainee Manual 2020-2021 for full details.
Much like the city of Houston, MD Anderson's workforce is a melting pot of diverse experience, diverse thought and diverse backgrounds that promotes creativity and innovation. The MD Anderson Radiation Oncology Residency Program is committed to fostering an environment and culture where all diverse points of view are valued.
Women and Minority Faculty Inclusion works diligently to attract, retain and advance diverse faculty and strives to be the model for cancer centers across the nation.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Network: The LGBT Network partners with the Diversity Council to help MD Anderson in its goal of becoming an employer of choice in the health care industry. In doing so, MD Anderson will become a model of excellence for a talent-based, research-driven, care-intensive medical center in a multicultural environment, whose best practices can be exported to other institutions.
MD Anderson Cancer Center is committed to encouraging good health and staying true to our mission to end cancer. If you are applying for a GME fellowship or residency program starting on or after July 1, 2016, please be advised that MD Anderson will have instituted a tobacco-free hiring process as part of its efforts to achieve these goals. If you are offered an appointment, you will be subject to a Pre-Employment Drug Screen for tobacco compounds in compliance with applicable state laws. If you do not pass the urine drug screening which includes testing for tobacco compounds, you CANNOT be appointed at MD Anderson. Should you fail to meet this contingency, MD Anderson will withdraw your offer of appointment for the academic year. You may reapply for the following academic year, but there are no guarantees that you will be offered a position as many of our programs are already filled for several years out.