Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
NKF has a number of expert spokespeople available for interviews on a variety of kidney and transplantation-related topics. If you are interested in contacting any of the experts profiled below, please get in touch with the NKF Public Relations Department at 800-622-9010, x. 235, or click here
Dr. Bryan Neil Becker, Immediate Past President of NKF, is Professor of Medicine, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Executive Director of the University of Illinois Physicians Group at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Becker attended Dartmouth College for his undergraduate work, majoring in English. He then attended the University of Kansas School of Medicine for his medical degree. He followed that with his residency in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center and then with fellowship training in Nephrology at Duke and at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Becker moved to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 1997 where he went on to head the Nephrology Division and serve as vice-chair in the Department of Medicine. He received his Master's in Medical Management from Tulane University in 2009 and moved to Chicago in fall, 2010.
Dr. Becker served as President of the National Kidney Foundation and chairman of its scientific advisory board from 2008-2010 and remains a member of the NKF board. Dr. Becker continues to be active clinically, caring for individuals with chronic kidney disease and kidney transplant recipients. He has worked to develop research foci in chronic kidney disease and kidney transplantation, focusing on model of chronic illness and novel imaging technology as markers of acute organ injury. He has published more than 190 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and abstracts and has served either as an editor or reviewer for 15 different publications in the kidney and internal medicine world. Dr. Becker also has served or continues to serve on or chair a number of different committees at the national level for the American Society of Transplantation, the American Society of Nephrology, the Association of Specialty Professors, and the NKF. He was a regular member of the Pathobiology of Kidney Disease scientific review panel for NIH between 2004-07 and continues to chair or serve on special emphasis panels for NIH. Dr. Becker has served as a member of the board of several companies, academic groups, and community organizations including Forward Health Group, Breonics, Inc., Helios Health, and the American Society of Transplantation.
Dr. Vassalotti is the National Kidney Foundation's Chief Medical Officer. He also currently serves on the clinical faculty of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Vassalotti oversees the medical operations of NKF's Kidney Early Evaluation Program, which identifies early chronic kidney disease (CKD) in high risk individuals.
He plays a major role in the development and evaluation of professional education programs and materials produced by NKF's Kidney Learning System and works closely with NKF's medical leadership and Scientific Advisory Board on the full range of NKF's medical programs. He is Co-Principal Investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demonstration project to identify individuals at high risk for CKD in the United States using state-based screening.
Dr. Vassalotti holds an MD from SUNY Stony Brook. He served his Residency and Nephrology Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. His areas of expertise are dialysis and chronic kidney disease.
Dr. Szczech is the President-elect of National Kidney Foundation. In October 2010, she will become the first female President in the foundation's 60-year history. She is currently Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center.
Dr. Szczech's clinical and research interests include the evaluation and management of acute and chronic renal insufficiency, anemia and cardiovascular complications in kidney disease, as well as consultative and general nephrology.
She earned her undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University, her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and her graduate degree in clinical epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. Szczech is a past recipient of the NKF Research Fellowship Award.
Dr. Spry practices consultative nephrology and is the medical director of the Dialysis Center of Lincoln in Lincoln, Nebraska where he participates in research and innovative projects for the benefit of dialysis patients. His areas of expertise include nephrology, hypertension, dialysis, acute renal failure, kidney stone disease and chronic kidney disease.
Dr. Spry is an active member of the Public Policy Committee at the National Kidney Foundation, which is dedicated to developing policies on health care issues that affect kidney patients, transplant recipients and organ and tissue donors. Dr. Spry received his medical degree from Washington University and St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.