Dr. Tariq Shafi, MBBS, MHS has joined the department as the Division Director and Bower Chair of Nephrology. Dr. Shafi comes to UMMC with a wealth of accomplishments and experience. He received his medical degree from Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan in 1990, followed by Internal Medicine residency training at Detroit’s Wayne State University. After several years in leadership roles at the Detroit Medical Center, Dr. Shafi pursued nephrology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital and an MHS in Clinical Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and joined the Nephrology Division in the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prior to coming to UMMC, Dr. Shafi served as core faculty at Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, was Medical Director of Johns Hopkins’ Home Hemodialysis program, and led Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) research as a Johns Hopkins Center of Innovative Medicine Scholar.

Dr. Shafi’s innovation in research is especially fitting for our institution and state, with our high prevalence of kidney disease and poor outcomes. His current research focus includes sudden cardiac death, the most common cause of death in dialysis patients. Through a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) funded R01 grant, he is studying arrhythmias contributing to this outcome by using implanted cardiac monitors that record electrocardiograms continuously for 3+ years. Already he and his colleagues have demonstrated – for the first time – that residual kidney function, which is associated with improved survival in dialysis patients, can be assessed using blood tests rather than collecting urine, a sizeable step forward in patient care. Also on Dr. Shafi’s research agenda is identifying uremic toxins, which cause uremic symptoms and heart disease in patients with kidney failure treated by dialysis. Funded by another grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), using metabolomics, Dr. Shafi hopes to identify these currently unknown toxins, which will further change how doctors manage patients with kidney disease.

In the education arena, Dr. Shafi has developed a curriculum for nephrology fellows to learn POCUS skills. These highly innovative small handheld ultrasound devices are poised to change medical practice. Dr. Shafi is investigating how these can further improve patient care.

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