Faculty Spotlight

Joseph W. Eschbach Endowed Chair in Kidney Research

Dr. Ian de Boer has been named the holder of the endowed chair, which was established in support of the Director of the Kidney Research Institute. Dr. de Boer assumed the leadership position earlier this year.

Ian de Boer, MD
Ian de Boer, MD, MS


Dr. Ian de Boer is professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology, and adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology. He took the helm as Director of the Kidney Research Institute in May 2022.

Dr. de Boer's research interests are in prevention and early identification of chronic kidney disease, diabetic kidney disease, and vitamin D deficiency.

The endowed chair was created in recognition of Dr. Joseph Eschbach’s enduring contributions to the well-being of people living with kidney disease. The late Dr. Eschbach, who died on September 7, 2007, was a nephrologist, a clinical leader and researcher. Through his exemplary clinical care, home dialysis program leadership, scholarly activity, groundbreaking research in anemia management, and leadership of the Northwest Kidney Centers, Dr. Eschbach changed the face of kidney care in this region, nationally and worldwide. Eschbach, who was senior research advisor at Northwest Kidney Centers and clinical professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Washington, spent his 45-year career at the Northwest Kidney Centers, the University of Washington and Minor and James Clinic.

Dr. Eschbach
Dr. Joseph Eschbach
In the 1970s, Eschbach and former UW faculty member Dr. John Adamson sought to understand the physiology of treatment of severe anemia in advanced kidney disease. They showed that  in an animal model of dialysis-dependent kidney disease, replacement of erythropoietin would stimulate red blood cell production. In the mid-1980s, Eschbach led successful clinical trials to treat anemia in kidney dialysis patients. This research played a pivotal role in Amgen’s development of the drug EPOGEN. Eschbach treated patients with EPOGEN at Northwest Kidney Centers in the world’s first clinical trials of the drug.