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Vanessa Grubbs, MD

Title(s)Associate Professor, Medicine
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Phone628-206-5649
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, San FranciscoClinical Fellowship Nephrology
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2012  - 2016Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program
    NIH-NIDDK2012  - 2017K23 Career Development Award

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    College: Duke University, BA
    Medical School: Duke University School of Medicine, MD
    Internal Medicine Residency: Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, CA
    Nephrology Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco
    Other graduate training: University of California, Berkeley, MPH


    Dr. Vanessa Grubbs is an Associate Professor in the Division of Nephrology at UCSF and has maintained a clinical practice and research program at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital since 2009. Her research focuses on palliative care for patients with end-stage kidney disease. She is among the 2017 cohort for the Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program, an initiative designed to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders; and the 2018 California Health Care Foundation’s Health Care Leadership Program.

    Her clinical and research work fuel her passion for creative writing. Her first book, HUNDREDS OF INTERLACED FINGERS: A Kidney Doctor’s Search for the Perfect Match, was released June 2017 from Harper Collins Publishers, Amistad division and is now in paperback. Dr. Abraham Verghese, best-selling author and physician, described the book as a "gripping, heartfelt memoir ... a deeply insightful look at health care in America as experienced by doctor and patient.” Dr. Grubbs is currently working on a novel.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Tailored Decision Aids for Elderly Patients and Families Approaching End-Stage Renal Disease
    NIH/NIDDK R21DK112100Sep 16, 2016 - Jun 30, 2019
    Role: Principal Investigator
    The Role of Periodontal Disease in Chronic Kidney Disease Progression
    NIH/NIDDK K23DK093710Aug 1, 2012 - May 31, 2017
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Clinical Trials
    Collapse Websites
    Collapse Student Projects
    Collapse Twitter

    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. Grubbs V. Another Example of Race Disparities in the US Healthcare System. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019 Sep; 30(9):1553-1554. PMID: 31471499.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Grubbs V. Medicare immunosuppressive drug coverage bills-Can we afford them? Am J Transplant. 2019 Mar 08. PMID: 30848535.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Lam DY, Scherer JS, Brown M, Grubbs V, Schell JO. A Conceptual Framework of Palliative Care across the Continuum of Advanced Kidney Disease. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019 Apr 05; 14(4):635-641. PMID: 30728167.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Grubbs V. Meeting the Palliative Care Needs of Maintenance Hemodialysis Patients: Beyond the Math. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018 Aug 07; 13(8):1138-1139. PMID: 30026284.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Grubbs V. ESRD and Hospice Care in the United States: Are Dialysis Patients Welcome? Am J Kidney Dis. 2018 Sep; 72(3):429-432. PMID: 29921453.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Grubbs V. Time to Recast Our Approach for Older Patients With ESRD: The Best, the Worst, and the Most Likely. Am J Kidney Dis. 2018 May; 71(5):605-607. PMID: 29685211.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Cervantes L, Tuot D, Raghavan R, Linas S, Zoucha J, Sweeney L, Vangala C, Hull M, Camacho M, Keniston A, McCulloch CE, Grubbs V, Kendrick J, Powe NR. Association of Emergency-Only vs Standard Hemodialysis With Mortality and Health Care Use Among Undocumented Immigrants With End-stage Renal Disease. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 02 01; 178(2):188-195. PMID: 29255898.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Montez-Rath ME, Zheng Y, Tamura MK, Grubbs V, Winkelmayer WC, Chang TI. Hospitalizations and Nursing Facility Stays During the Transition from CKD to ESRD on Dialysis: An Observational Study. J Gen Intern Med. 2017 Nov; 32(11):1220-1227. PMID: 28808869.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Grubbs V, O'Riordan D, Pantilat S. Characteristics and Outcomes of In-Hospital Palliative Care Consultation among Patients with Renal Disease Versus Other Serious Illnesses. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Jul 07; 12(7):1085-1089. PMID: 28655708.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Huang Y, Tilea A, Gillespie B, Shahinian V, Banerjee T, Grubbs V, Powe N, Rios-Burrows N, Pavkov M, Saran R. Understanding Trends in Kidney Function 1 Year after Kidney Transplant in the United States. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Aug; 28(8):2498-2510. PMID: 28270413.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Grubbs V, Tuot DS, Powe NR, O'Donoghue D, Chesla CA. System-Level Barriers and Facilitators for Foregoing or Withdrawing Dialysis: A Qualitative Study of Nephrologists in the United States and England. Am J Kidney Dis. 2017 Nov; 70(5):602-610. PMID: 28242134.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Grubbs V, Garcia F, Jue BL, Vittinghoff E, Ryder M, Lovett D, Carrillo J, Offenbacher S, Ganz P, Bibbins-Domingo K, Powe NR. The Kidney and Periodontal Disease (KAPD) study: A pilot randomized controlled trial testing the effect of non-surgical periodontal therapy on chronic kidney disease. Contemp Clin Trials. 2017 02; 53:143-150. PMID: 28011387.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Grubbs V, Vittighoff E, Grimes B, Johansen KL. Mortality and illicit drug dependence among hemodialysis patients in the United States: a retrospective cohort analysis. BMC Nephrol. 2016 06 08; 17(1):56. PMID: 27278934; PMCID: PMC4898454.
    14. Grubbs V, Vittinghoff E, Taylor G, Kritz-Silverstein D, Powe N, Bibbins-Domingo K, Ishani A, Cummings SR. The association of periodontal disease with kidney function decline: a longitudinal retrospective analysis of the MrOS dental study. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2016 Mar; 31(3):466-72. PMID: 26320037.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Tuot DS, Lin F, Shlipak MG, Grubbs V, Hsu CY, Yee J, Shahinian V, Saran R, Saydah S, Williams DE, Powe NR. Potential Impact of Prescribing Metformin According to eGFR Rather Than Serum Creatinine. Diabetes Care. 2015 Nov; 38(11):2059-67. PMID: 26307607; PMCID: PMC4613912 [Available on 11/01/16].
    16. Kshirsagar AV, Grubbs V. Periodontal Disease and CKD-Associated Morbidity: Is There Now Enough Evidence to Move From Observation to Intervention? Am J Kidney Dis. 2015 Aug; 66(2):181-3. PMID: 26210722.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Grubbs V, Vittinghoff E, Beck JD, Kshirsagar AV, Wang W, Griswold ME, Powe NR, Correa A, Young B. Association Between Periodontal Disease and Kidney Function Decline in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study. J Periodontol. 2015 Oct; 86(10):1126-32. PMID: 26110451; PMCID: PMC4831049.
    18. Greer RC, Ameling JM, Cavanaugh KL, Jaar BG, Grubbs V, Andrews CE, Ephraim P, Powe NR, Lewis J, Umeukeje E, Gimenez L, James S, Boulware LE. Specialist and primary care physicians' views on barriers to adequate preparation of patients for renal replacement therapy: a qualitative study. BMC Nephrol. 2015 Mar 28; 16:37. PMID: 25885460; PMCID: PMC4387659.
    19. Tuot DS, Grubbs V. Chronic kidney disease care in the US safety net. Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2015 Jan; 22(1):66-73. PMID: 25573515.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Grubbs V, Moss AH, Cohen LM, Fischer MJ, Germain MJ, Jassal SV, Perl J, Weiner DE, Mehrotra R. A palliative approach to dialysis care: a patient-centered transition to the end of life. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2014 Dec 05; 9(12):2203-9. PMID: 25104274; PMCID: PMC4255391.
    21. Grubbs V. Undocumented immigrants and kidney transplant: costs and controversy. Health Aff (Millwood). 2014 Feb; 33(2):332-5. PMID: 24493776.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Crews DC, Kuczmarski MF, Grubbs V, Hedgeman E, Shahinian VB, Evans MK, Zonderman AB, Burrows NR, Williams DE, Saran R, Powe NR. Effect of food insecurity on chronic kidney disease in lower-income Americans. Am J Nephrol. 2014; 39(1):27-35. PMID: 24434743; PMCID: PMC3952065.
    23. Grubbs V, Lin F, Vittinghoff E, Shlipak MG, Peralta CA, Bansal N, Jacobs DR, Siscovick DS, Lewis CE, Bibbins-Domingo K. Body mass index and early kidney function decline in young adults: a longitudinal analysis of the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study. Am J Kidney Dis. 2014 Apr; 63(4):590-7. PMID: 24295611; PMCID: PMC3969447.
    24. Grubbs V, Wasse H, Vittinghoff E, Grimes BA, Johansen KL. Health status as a potential mediator of the association between hemodialysis vascular access and mortality. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2014 Apr; 29(4):892-8. PMID: 24235075; PMCID: PMC3967832.
    25. Bansal N, Vittinghoff E, Peralta CA, Shlipak MG, Grubbs V, Jacobs DR, Siscovick D, Steffes M, Carr JJ, Bibbins-Domingo K. Estimated kidney function based on serum cystatin C and risk of subsequent coronary artery calcium in young and middle-aged adults with preserved kidney function: results from the CARDIA study. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Aug 01; 178(3):410-7. PMID: 23813702; PMCID: PMC3816347.
    26. Grubbs V, Plantinga LC, Tuot DS, Hedgeman E, Saran R, Saydah S, Rolka D, Powe NR. Americans' use of dietary supplements that are potentially harmful in CKD. Am J Kidney Dis. 2013 May; 61(5):739-47. PMID: 23415417; PMCID: PMC3628413.
    27. Plantinga LC, Tuot DS, Grubbs V, Hsu CY, Powe NR. Chronic kidney disease identification in a high-risk urban population: does automated eGFR reporting make a difference? J Urban Health. 2012 Dec; 89(6):965-76. PMID: 22684427; PMCID: PMC3531349.
    28. Grubbs V, Plantinga LC, Vittinghoff E, O'Hare AM, Dudley RA. Medicare immunosuppressant coverage and access to kidney transplantation: a retrospective national cohort study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2012 Aug 16; 12:254. PMID: 22894737.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Grubbs V, Plantinga LC, Tuot DS, Powe NR. Chronic kidney disease and use of dental services in a United States public healthcare system: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Nephrol. 2012 Apr 02; 13:16. PMID: 22471751; PMCID: PMC3368751.
    30. Plantinga L, Grubbs V, Sarkar U, Hsu CY, Hedgeman E, Robinson B, Saran R, Geiss L, Burrows NR, Eberhardt M, Powe N. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use among persons with chronic kidney disease in the United States. Ann Fam Med. 2011 Sep-Oct; 9(5):423-30. PMID: 21911761; PMCID: PMC3185478.
    31. Grubbs V, Plantinga LC, Crews DC, Bibbins-Domingo K, Saran R, Heung M, Patel PR, Burrows NR, Ernst KL, Powe NR. Vulnerable populations and the association between periodontal and chronic kidney disease. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Apr; 6(4):711-7. PMID: 21350109; PMCID: PMC3069360.
    32. Grubbs V, Gregorich SE, Perez-Stable EJ, Hsu CY. Health literacy and access to kidney transplantation. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009 Jan; 4(1):195-200. PMID: 19056617; PMCID: PMC2615704.
    33. Grubbs V, Bibbins-Domingo K, Fernandez A, Chattopadhyay A, Bindman AB. Acute myocardial infarction length of stay and hospital mortality are not associated with language preference. J Gen Intern Med. 2008 Feb; 23(2):190-4. PMID: 18043984; PMCID: PMC2359166.
    34. Grubbs V. Good for harvest, bad for planting. Health Aff (Millwood). 2007 Jan-Feb; 26(1):232-7. PMID: 17211033.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Grubbs V, Chen AH, Bindman AB, Vittinghoff E, Fernandez A. Effect of awareness of language law on language access in the health care setting. J Gen Intern Med. 2006 Jul; 21(7):683-8. PMID: 16808766; PMCID: PMC1924696.