Introducing the Barbara T. Murphy Division of Nephrology

Introducing the Barbara T. Murphy Division of Nephrology

The newly renamed Barbara T. Murphy Division of Nephrology moved forward on a broad variety of fronts in 2021.

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Mount Sinai Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, including our Division of Nephrology, have long placed a special emphasis on translational research—moving discoveries from bench to bedside to make a real difference in our patients’ lives.

In 2021, as described in this report, we marked a major milestone in this area when Renalytix, a company co-founded by several Icahn Mount Sinai faculty members, brought its first product into clinical use: KidneyIntelX, which uses a proprietary algorithm and a variety of data inputs to assess disease progression risk among early-stage CKD patients with type 2 diabetes. The inputs include clinical data from patients’ electronic health records and three blood-based biomarkers.

Two other articles in this report look at the broad range our Division covers. Mount Sinai is one of fewer than 10 institutions in the country to offer a program dedicated to onco-nephrology, the treatment of acute kidney injury or disease caused by cancer or its treatments, especially chemotherapies. Our program, which began in 2019, has treated approximately 200 patients to date, and we are exploring the creation of a fellowship program that will train subspecialists while offering them ample research opportunities to improve this field of care.

Meanwhile, we have launched a fellowship program integrating critical care and nephrology. Nephrologists have long consulted in intensive care units (ICUs), but this new program focuses on educating fellows in the unique physiological factors that come into play in specialized settings, including cardiothoracic and neurological ICUs.

One of our faculty members, Girish N. Nadkarni, MD, MPH, leads a new Division of Data-Driven and Digital Medicine (D3M) within Icahn Mount Sinai that will augment and empower translational research and clinical care by promoting data science and digital health resources to clinicians who have ideas for improving health care but no clinical informatics background to see those ideas through. Nephrology is one of the fields already benefiting from this work.

Another faculty member, Samira Farouk, MD, has become well known in the field for developing social media-based educational resources for nephrologists; she is now branching out, with added teaching resources, an expanded range of fictitious patient cases, and similar tools for other specialties.

We suffered a grievous loss at midyear when Barbara T. Murphy, MD, a world-renowned nephrologist who became the first female Chair of a Department of Medicine at an academic medical center in New York City, died at age 56. This report is dedicated to her memory, and our division was recently renamed as the Barbara T. Murphy Division of Nephrology to preserve her name and achievements into the future.


John Cijiang He, MD, PhD

John Cijiang He, MD, PhD

Chief, Division of Nephrology, and Irene and Dr. Arthur M. Fishberg Professor of Medicine