The overall objective of this “Center of Excellence in Pediatric Nephrology” is to provide a coordinated, interdisciplinary, and inter-institutional approach to study the development of the kidney during embryonic, fetal and postnatal life.


The Center brings together investigators from the University of Virginia and Tulane University. The main theme of this Research Center is “Kidney Development and Disease: Cell Fate and Precursors of Disease in the Young and Adult.” Broadly, the proposed research deals with fundamental questions of clinical relevance in Pediatric Nephrology such as the understanding of kidney morphogenesis and homeostasis in health and disease. The experimental approaches range from examination of epigenetic mechanisms that control cell fate, plasticity, and identity and the cellular signals underlying the phenotypic transformation that occurs during kidney injury and repair. Read about main projects.

With the objective to add new talent to the investigation of renal diseases in children the Center funds Pilot and Feasibility projects.  These are small projects in the general theme of the program that are funded for up to 2 years. Read about the pilot projects. The Center is supported by an Administrative Core which allocates and distributes resources to Center participants and oversees the Pilot Project program, maintains the Center website and administers the Enrichment/Educational program. This Enrichment program supports research students and provides seminars and symposiums to enhance research in kidney development and disease.

Collaboration among the participating investigators, junior investigators, students, and consultants will lead to the discovery of major mechanisms underlying the fate of renal cells during normal development and in response to injury and repair. Information gained from the scientific efforts of the Center will be of relevance to the care of infants and children with congenital and acquired kidney diseases.

Patricio Ray, M.D.
Robert Parrott Professor of Pediatrics
Children’s National Health System
George Washington University School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine