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Elaine Ku, MD

Title(s)Associate Professor, Medicine
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Phone415-476-3546
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0002-7774-2526 Additional info
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California , Los Angeles BA/BS 06/2003English/Biology
    University of California , San Diego MD 06/2007Medicine
    LAC-USC Medical Center , Los Angeles 06/2011Medicine and Pediatrics Residency
    University of California , San Francisco MAS 06/2015Clinical Research
    University of California , San Francisco 06/2015Nephrology and Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Award2013  - 2014American Kidney Fund
    Young Investigator Award/Satellite Clinical Investigator2016  - 2018National Kidney Foundation
    UCSF School of Medicine2019Inquiry Mentor Award for Outstanding Mentorship

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    The global context of my research program focuses on understanding differences in the epidemiology, clinical management, and outcomes of children versus adults with kidney disease and the conduct of clinical trials to test interventions (such as blood pressure control) that will improve survival of patients with kidney disease. I am especially interested in transitions of care, such as that between adolescence and young adulthood, as well as that between advanced chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (including dialysis and transplant).

    My specific areas of focus currently include 1) cardiovascular risk in patients with kidney disease; 2) disparities in access to kidney transplantation and transplant outcomes; and 3) risk factors for progression of chronic kidney disease.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Acute declines in kidney function during blood pressure interventions in CKD
    NIH/NIDDK R01DK121904May 1, 2020 - Feb 28, 2025
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Reaching Equity for Adults and CHildren in Transplant (REACH-TRANSPLANT)
    NIH/NIDDK R01DK120886Sep 11, 2019 - Jun 30, 2024
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Racial and ethnic disparities in access to kidney transplantation.
    NIH/NIDDK R01DK115629Dec 6, 2017 - Nov 30, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    UCSF Pilot for Junior Investigators
    Resource allocation program UCSFMay 1, 2017 - Apr 30, 2018
    Role: Co-PI
    Weight trajectory and its association with adverse outcomes
    National Kidney Foundation Young Investigator AwardJul 1, 2016 - Nov 30, 2017
    Role: PI
    Blood pressure trends, outcomes, and interventions in adolescents and young adults at increased cardiovascular risk
    NIH/NHLBI K23HL131023Feb 1, 2016 - Jan 31, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Role of pre-ESRD blood pressure management on post-ESRD outcomes
    NIH/NIDDK F32DK098871Dec 1, 2014 - Nov 30, 2016
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Clinical Trials
    Collapse Faculty Mentoring
    Collapse Student Projects

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Dinh A, Ku E. Pre-transplant dialysis exposure and outcomes after kidney transplantation - where quantity and quality intersect? Am J Transplant. 2020 May 14. PMID: 32406189.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Wang CS, Ku E. eHealth in kidney care. Nat Rev Nephrol. 2020 Apr 01. PMID: 32238923.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Zhang X, Rule AD, McCulloch CE, Lieske JC, Ku E, Hsu CY. Tubular secretion of creatinine and kidney function: an observational study. BMC Nephrol. 2020 Mar 30; 21(1):108. PMID: 32228497.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Lee J, McCulloch CE, Flynn JT, Samuels J, Warady BA, Furth SL, Seth D, Grimes BA, Mitsnefes MM, Ku E. Prognostic Value of Ambulatory Blood Pressure Load in Pediatric CKD. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Mar 11. PMID: 32160993.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Wei J, Johansen KL, McCulloch CE, Lipkowitz M, Weir M, Lin F, Campese VM, Smogorzewski M, Ku E. Association Between APOL1 Genotype and Need for Kidney Replacement Therapy in Patients Without Diabetes: Does Age Matter? Am J Kidney Dis. 2020 02; 75(2):294-296. PMID: 31837887.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Ku E, Yang W, McCulloch CE, Feldman HI, Go AS, Lash J, Bansal N, He J, Horwitz E, Ricardo AC, Shafi T, Sondheimer J, Townsend RR, Waikar SS, Hsu CY. Race and Mortality in CKD and Dialysis: Findings From the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study. Am J Kidney Dis. 2020 Mar; 75(3):394-403. PMID: 31732235.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Winnicki E, McCulloch CE, Ku E. Authors' Reply. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019 Dec; 30(12):2474. PMID: 31649098.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Ku E, Lee BK, McCulloch CE, Roll GR, Grimes B, Adey D, Johansen KL. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Kidney Transplant Access within a Theoretical Context of Medical Eligibility. Transplantation. 2019 Sep 13. PMID: 31568216.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Whelan AM, Ku E. Use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in kidney transplant recipients. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2019 09 01; 34(9):1437-1439. PMID: 30838404.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Ku E, Sarnak MJ, Toto R, McCulloch CE, Lin F, Smogorzewski M, Hsu CY. Effect of Blood Pressure Control on Long-Term Risk of End-Stage Renal Disease and Death Among Subgroups of Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Aug 20; 8(16):e012749. PMID: 31411082.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Winnicki E, Johansen KL, Cabana MD, Warady BA, McCulloch CE, Grimes B, Ku E. Higher eGFR at Dialysis Initiation Is Not Associated with a Survival Benefit in Children. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019 08; 30(8):1505-1513. PMID: 31320460.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Ku E, McCulloch CE, Johansen KL. Starting Renal Replacement Therapy: Is It About Time? Am J Nephrol. 2019; 50(2):144-151. PMID: 31269487.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Ku E, Mitsnefes MM. Cardiovascular disease in young adults with incident ESRD. Nat Rev Nephrol. 2019 07; 15(7):390-391. PMID: 31043718.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Ku E, Hsu RK, Tuot DS, Bae SR, Lipkowitz MS, Smogorzewski MJ, Grimes BA, Weir MR. Magnitude of the Difference Between Clinic and Ambulatory Blood Pressures and Risk of Adverse Outcomes in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 05 07; 8(9):e011013. PMID: 31014164.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Roberts MJ, Mitsnefes MM, McCulloch CE, Greenbaum LA, Grimes BA, Ku E. Association between BMI changes and mortality risk in children with end-stage renal disease. Pediatr Nephrol. 2019 09; 34(9):1557-1563. PMID: 30963283.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Ku E, Lee BJ, Wei J, Weir MR. Hypertension in CKD: Core Curriculum 2019. Am J Kidney Dis. 2019 07; 74(1):120-131. PMID: 30898362.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Elaine Ku, Jonas Kwok. Complications of Chronic Kidney Disease in Adolescents. Adolescents with Chronic Kidney Disease. 2019 Jan 1; 1-15.
      View in: Publisher Site
    18. Ahearn P, Johansen KL, McCulloch CE, Grimes BA, Ku E. Sex Disparities in Risk of Mortality Among Children With ESRD. Am J Kidney Dis. 2019 02; 73(2):156-162. PMID: 30318132.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Tuot DS, Lin F, Norris K, Gassman J, Smogorzewski M, Ku E. Depressive Symptoms Associate With Race and All-Cause Mortality in Patients With CKD. Kidney Int Rep. 2019 Feb; 4(2):222-230. PMID: 30775619.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Ku E, McCulloch CE, Vittinghoff E, Lin F, Johansen KL. Use of Antihypertensive Agents and Association With Risk of Adverse Outcomes in Chronic Kidney Disease: Focus on Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018 10 02; 7(19):e009992. PMID: 30371331.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Weir MR, Lakkis JI, Jaar B, Rocco MV, Choi MJ, Kramer HJ, Ku E. Use of Renin-Angiotensin System Blockade in Advanced CKD: An NKF-KDOQI Controversies Report. Am J Kidney Dis. 2018 12; 72(6):873-884. PMID: 30201547.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Ku E, Ix JH, Jamerson K, Tangri N, Lin F, Gassman J, Smogorzewski M, Sarnak MJ. Acute Declines in Renal Function during Intensive BP Lowering and Long-Term Risk of Death. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018 09; 29(9):2401-2408. PMID: 30006417.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Ku E, Johansen KL, McCulloch CE. Time-Centered Approach to Understanding Risk Factors for the Progression of CKD. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018 05 07; 13(5):693-701. PMID: 29602779.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Ku E, Vittinghoff E, Jacobs DR, Lewis CE, Allen NB, Bibbins-Domingo K, Shlipak M, Kramer H, Peralta CA. Changes in Blood Pressure During Young Adulthood and Subsequent Kidney Function Decline: Findings From the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adulthood (CARDIA) Study. Am J Kidney Dis. 2018 08; 72(2):243-250. PMID: 29510922.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Ku E, McCulloch CE, Warady BA, Furth SL, Grimes BA, Mitsnefes MM. Twenty-Four-Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure versus Clinic Blood Pressure Measurements and Risk of Adverse Outcomes in Children with CKD. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018 03 07; 13(3):422-428. PMID: 29440119.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Winnicki E, McCulloch CE, Mitsnefes MM, Furth SL, Warady BA, Ku E. Use of the Kidney Failure Risk Equation to Determine the Risk of Progression to End-stage Renal Disease in Children With Chronic Kidney Disease. JAMA Pediatr. 2018 02 01; 172(2):174-180. PMID: 29255845.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Ku E, Kopple JD, Johansen KL, McCulloch CE, Go AS, Xie D, Lin F, Hamm LL, He J, Kusek JW, Navaneethan SD, Ricardo AC, Rincon-Choles H, Smogorzewski M, Hsu CY. Longitudinal Weight Change During CKD Progression and Its Association With Subsequent Mortality. Am J Kidney Dis. 2018 05; 71(5):657-665. PMID: 29217305.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Ku E, Kopple JD, McCulloch CE, Warady BA, Furth SL, Mak RH, Grimes BA, Mitsnefes M. Associations Between Weight Loss, Kidney Function Decline, and Risk of ESRD in the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD) Cohort Study. Am J Kidney Dis. 2018 05; 71(5):648-656. PMID: 29132947.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Ku E, Scherzer R, Odden MC, Shlipak M, White CL, Field TS, Benavente O, Pergola PE, Peralta CA. Patterns of blood pressure response during intensive BP lowering and clinical events: results from the secondary prevention of small subcortical strokes trial. Blood Press. 2018 04; 27(2):73-81. PMID: 28952798.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Ku E, Bakris G, Johansen KL, Lin F, Sarnak MJ, Campese VM, Jamerson K, Gassman JJ, Smogorzewski M, Hsu CY. Acute Declines in Renal Function during Intensive BP Lowering: Implications for Future ESRD Risk. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Sep; 28(9):2794-2801. PMID: 28473636.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Ku E, McCulloch CE, Grimes BA, Johansen KL. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Survival of Children with ESRD. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 May; 28(5):1584-1591. PMID: 28034898.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Ku E, Lipkowitz MS, Appel LJ, Parsa A, Gassman J, Glidden DV, Smogorzewski M, Hsu CY. Strict blood pressure control associates with decreased mortality risk by APOL1 genotype. Kidney Int. 2017 02; 91(2):443-450. PMID: 27927600.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Ku E, McCulloch CE, Mauer M, Gitelman SE, Grimes BA, Hsu CY. Association Between Blood Pressure and Adverse Renal Events in Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2016 Dec; 39(12):2218-2224. PMID: 27872156.
      View in: PubMed
    34. Ku E, Gassman J, Appel LJ, Smogorzewski M, Sarnak MJ, Glidden DV, Bakris G, Gutiérrez OM, Hebert LA, Ix JH, Lea J, Lipkowitz MS, Norris K, Ploth D, Pogue VA, Rostand SG, Siew ED, Sika M, Tisher CC, Toto R, Wright JT, Wyatt C, Hsu CY. BP Control and Long-Term Risk of ESRD and Mortality. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 02; 28(2):671-677. PMID: 27516235.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Ku E, Fine RN, Hsu CY, McCulloch C, Glidden DV, Grimes B, Johansen KL. Height at First RRT and Mortality in Children. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 05 06; 11(5):832-9. PMID: 26933189.
      View in: PubMed
    36. Ku E, Xie D, Shlipak M, Hyre Anderson A, Chen J, Go AS, He J, Horwitz EJ, Rahman M, Ricardo AC, Sondheimer JH, Townsend RR, Hsu CY. Change in Measured GFR Versus eGFR and CKD Outcomes. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 Jul; 27(7):2196-204. PMID: 26604213.
      View in: PubMed
    37. Ku E, Glidden DV, Hsu CY, Portale AA, Grimes B, Johansen KL. Association of Body Mass Index with Patient-Centered Outcomes in Children with ESRD. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 Feb; 27(2):551-8. PMID: 26054540.
      View in: PubMed
    38. Ku E, Johansen KL, Portale AA, Grimes B, Hsu CY. State level variations in nephrology workforce and timing and incidence of dialysis in the United States among children and adults: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Nephrol. 2015 Jan 15; 16:2. PMID: 25589150.
      View in: PubMed
    39. Ku E, Glidden DV, Johansen KL, Sarnak M, Tighiouart H, Grimes B, Hsu CY. Association between strict blood pressure control during chronic kidney disease and lower mortality after onset of end-stage renal disease. Kidney Int. 2015 May; 87(5):1055-60. PMID: 25493952.
      View in: PubMed
    40. Ku E, Thomas M, Ho CH, Whipple NS, Abdul-Rahman O, Megason GC, Herrington BL, Carmody JB, Charlton JR. Index of suspicion. Case 1: fever, diarrhea, jaundice, and confusion in an 18-year-old male. Case 2: severe anemia in a 6-month-old girl. Case 3: red urine in a 4-month-old boy. Pediatr Rev. 2014 Mar; 35(3):129-35. PMID: 24585816.
      View in: PubMed
    41. Hsu RK, McCulloch CE, Ku E, Dudley RA, Hsu CY. Regional variation in the incidence of dialysis-requiring AKI in the United States. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Sep; 8(9):1476-81. PMID: 23929923.
      View in: PubMed
    42. Ku E, Campese V. Is lipid management effective for all stages of CKD?. Blood Purif. 2013; 35(1-3):26-30. PMID: 23343543.
      View in: PubMed
    43. Ku E, Ananthapanyasut W, Campese VM. IgA nephropathy in a patient with ulcerative colitis, Graves' disease and positive myeloperoxidase ANCA. Clin Nephrol. 2012 Feb; 77(2):146-50. PMID: 22257545.
      View in: PubMed
    44. Campese VM, Ku E, Bigazzi R, Bianchi S. Do HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors improve kidney function? The saga continues. J Nephrol. 2011 Sep-Oct; 24(5):550-3. PMID: 21887675.
      View in: PubMed
    45. Elaine Ku, Tanzina Nasreen, Jeanie Park, Vito M. Campese. Metabolic and Dietary Influences on Sympathetic Nervous System Activity. Nutritional and Metabolic Bases of Cardiovascular Disease. 2011 Feb 18; 298-302.
      View in: Publisher Site
    46. Campese VM, Ku E, Park J. Sympathetic renal innervation and resistant hypertension. Int J Hypertens. 2011 Jan 20; 2011:814354. PMID: 21331158.
      View in: PubMed
    47. Ku E, Brotherton BJ, Parrish C, Zia SK, McKenna S. Visual diagnosis: vaginal mass in a 16-month-old child. Pediatr Rev. 2010 Aug; 31(8):337-40. PMID: 20679100.
      View in: PubMed
    48. Lu Y, Ku E, Campese VM. Aldosterone in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease and proteinuria. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2010 Aug; 12(4):303-6. PMID: 20596805.
      View in: PubMed
    49. Ku E, Campese VM. Aldosterone and hypertension in African Americans. Am J Hypertens. 2009 Dec; 22(12):1234. PMID: 19924116.
      View in: PubMed
    50. Elaine Ku, Jeanie Park, Jay Vidhun, Vito Campese. The Case for Dual Renin-Angiotensin System Inhibition—Reply. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2009 Nov 9; 169(20):1931-1931.
      View in: Publisher Site
    51. Ku E, Cheung EL, Khan A, Yu AS. Anion and osmolal gaps after alcohol intoxication. Am J Kidney Dis. 2009 Aug; 54(2):385-8. PMID: 19560850.
      View in: PubMed
    52. Ku E, Park J, Vidhun J, Campese V. The hazards of dual renin-angiotensin blockade in chronic kidney disease. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Jun 08; 169(11):1015-8. PMID: 19506167.
      View in: PubMed
    53. Ku E, Nobakht N, Campese VM. Lixivaptan: a novel vasopressin receptor antagonist. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2009 May; 18(5):657-62. PMID: 19379124.
      View in: PubMed
    54. Ku E, Campese VM. Role of aldosterone in the progression of chronic kidney disease and potential use of aldosterone blockade in children. Pediatr Nephrol. 2009 Dec; 24(12):2301-7. PMID: 19347366.
      View in: PubMed