Faculty Spotlight

Himmelfarb will be stepping down from his role as the Director of the Kidney Research Institute (KRI) effective May 1, 2022.

Jonathan Himmelfarb, MD
Jonathan Himmelfarb, MD

The Kidney Research Institute was established in 2008 as a collaboration between UW Medicine and the Northwest Kidney Centers with the mission to conduct research that can improve the lives of people with kidney disease. Dr. Shankland, then Head of the division of Nephrology, led the efforts to successfully recruit Dr. Himmelfarb as the founding Director of the KRI. Under Dr. Himmelfarb’s leadership, the KRI has catalyzed kidney-disease related research across the entire University of Washington. 

Over these 14 years, he has overseen the efforts of the KRI investigators to build collaborations across the various schools within the University of Washington and nationwide, procure nearly $200 million in aggregate extra-mural funding, enroll over 8000 participants in registry and/or clinical studies of kidney diseases, and generate over 1500 research publications. 

The KRI has led patient engagement efforts with the establishment of the Patient Advisory Committee, in addition to an external Scientific Advisory Committee. He has continued with his own highly innovative research including critically important work for the establishment of a “kidney-on-a-chip”, establishing the Center for Dialysis Innovation to develop a wearable hemodialysis machine, and leads the Central Hub and Chairs the Steering Committee for the Kidney Precision Medicine Project, a top priority for the NIDDK. Up until recently, he served as the co-Principal Investigator for the Nephrology T32 training grant. 

He is recognized worldwide and he served as the President of the American Society of Nephrology for 2014-2015. He has received numerous awards and accolades over his illustrious career; in 2021, the American Society of Nephrology conferred the prestigious Belding H. Scribner lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions that directly impact care of patients with kidney diseases or have substantially changed the clinical practice of Nephrology. 

We thank Dr. Himmelfarb for his outstanding leadership, mentorship of a generation of nephrology investigators, and his work towards improving the lives of patients with kidney diseases in our community and beyond. Dr. Himmelfarb remains the Co-Director of the Center for Dialysis Innovation, and will continue with his research, teaching, and clinical work within the Division of Nephrology.    

An announcement about the new leadership of the KRI will be made shortly.