Thank you for your interest in Cleveland Clinic’s Nephrology and Hypertension Fellowship Program. As the Program Director, I am confident our innovative curriculum will provide you with an optimal training environment to be successful nephrologists in academia, clinical, and subspecialty training. We offer a two-year ACGME accredited training program with opportunities for an American Society of Transplantation (AST) fellowship and an NIH-funded T32 training grant.

The fellowship had an incredible year in 2019. I am proud to announce that we expanded and successfully recruited an additional fellow for the class of 2022 (5 first year fellows), developed and implemented an AT HOME night float system, started an interventional nephrology experience, and will begin a clinical and research collaboration with the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA starting July 1, 2020.

The Department of Nephrology and Hypertension has a rich legacy of excellence in patient care, clinical research and fellow education. Cleveland Clinic is ranked as one of the nation's top hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.

The nephrology fellowship is the foundation of our department. We pride ourselves in our ability to attract highly qualified, academically curious applicants who believe in the six core values of Cleveland Clinic; compassion, integrity, teamwork, quality, innovation, and service. One of the strengths of our program is the diverse population we serve. Cleveland Clinic is a 1,400 bed quaternary referral center which serves local, regional and international patients, allowing trainees to gain expertise in a wide spectrum of diseases.

The nephrology critical care experience is unparalleled, as our 250 ICU has one of the highest acuity scores in the nation. The Cleveland Clinic Transplant Center offers one of the most comprehensive programs in the world, and kidney transplant accounted for 229 transplants in 2019. Additionally, fellows have electives in our ambulatory subspecialty clinics - hypertension, glomerular, lupus, stone, transplantation, hemodialysis, and home therapy. Our department leverages this large clinical volume to build databases for epidemiological study in conjunction with NIH funded and nationally recognized research in Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC), Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP), Clinical Trials of Organ Transplantation (CTOT), APOL1 Long-term Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Network (APOLLO), Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), and the Chronic Kidney Disease Registry.

The strength of our fellowship education is the high quality, comprehensive, daily didactics delivered throughout the year. Fellow education and mentorship is a departmental effort provided by experienced staff members with varied subspecialty clinical experience and research expertise. Fellow involvement in our program evaluation committee allows us to continue to innovate our training program. First year fellows begin their training with a one month orientation, which includes introductory nephrology courses, hands-on experiences, simulation center curriculum, and shadowing second year fellows through all three of our on-site core inpatient rotations. We intentionally integrate ample scholarly activity and self-directed learning in between core rotations and limit weekend call to once a month.

Interested applicants who have completed a three year ACGME accredited Internal Medicine Residency should apply through the electronic application service (ERAS).

We believe our program offers unparalleled training that will allow you to reach your goal of developing into an outstanding nephrologist. Please review our website and contact us to learn more about our program.

Jonathan Taliercio, DO, FASN
Jonathan Taliercio, DO, FASN
Program Director, Nephrology and Hypertension Fellowship

Georges Nakhoul, MD
Georges Nakhoul, MD, MEHPE, FASN
Associate Program Director, Nephrology and Hypertension Fellowship



Program Overview

Cleveland Clinic’s Nephrology and Hypertension Fellowship Program is a two-year ACGME training program which successfully recruits four fellows per class. The class of 2022 has expanded to 5 fellows. We offer two training tracks:

  • Categorical Track - a traditional two year training program in Nephrology and Hypertension with an emphasis on development of clinical and research skills.
  • T32 NIH Funded Research Track - a three to four year training program with two years of clinical training and a minimum of one year in scholarly activity pursuing basic, translational, or epidemiological research. Interested fellows will apply during their first year of fellowship.
  • AST Transplant Fellowship - a one year fellowship accredited by American Society of Transplantation (AST). Applicants must have completed a two year ACGME general nephrology fellowship prior to acceptance into the program.

Watch: Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Nephrology is proud to be a “team of teams” to deliver world-class care.

Watch: Our latest video to hear what current trainees have to say about training at one of the nation's top hospitals, living in Cleveland and more

Clinical Experience

Cleveland Clinic is a quaternary referral center. Fellows have the unique opportunity to work with world-renowned experts on rare nephrological disorders, in addition, to serving residents of Northeast Ohio. The Department and Faculty are recognized for their expertise in research, acute kidney care, resistant hypertension, glomerulonephritis, transplantation, renal genetics, and stone disease.

The Nephrology and Hypertension Department has formed several collaborations with many disciplines to provide comprehensive medical care.

The Stone Clinic is composed of a multidisciplinary team of nephrologist and urologist specializing and investigating metabolic profiles, urine acidification testing, kidney stone prevention, and surgical treatment options.   

The Glomerulonephritis (GN) Clinic and Lupus Clinic combines the expertise of a nephrologist, trained renal pathologists, and rheumatologist appointed to the Center for Vasculitis Care to diagnosis, treat, and enroll patients in clinical trials.

The Hypertension Clinic, designated as a Comprehensive Hypertension Center by the American Society of Hypertension, is staffed by certified hypertensive specialists to care for with resistant hypertension. The hypertension laboratory is equipped to diagnosis and treat patients with blood pressure disorders using remote monitoring, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure measurements (ABPM), IV salt load, captopril testing, and noninvasive impedance cardiography to assess neurohumoral profiles and hemodynamic parameters.

The Renal Genetics Clinic, led by a medical geneticist and genetic counselors, offers patients the most advanced genetic testing to help diagnosis and treat patients with a rare conditions.

The trainees critical care experience is exceptional as the hospital boast one of the highest acuity scores in the nation with approximately 250 intensive care beds. Trainees develop expertise in caring for patients with acute kidney injury and other fluid and electrolyte s disturbances in various intensive care units (medical, cardiac, cardiovascular heart failure, liver, neurological, and surgical). Fellows will employ the full complement of renal replacement therapies (RRT) in conjunction with other life-supporting machines such as extracorporeal membrane oxygen support (ECMO), ventricular assist devices (VAD), and intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP).

The Cleveland Clinic Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Center performed 229 transplants in 2019. General nephrology fellows and the third year transplant fellow care for patients as members of a fully integrated, multidisciplinary medical and surgical transplant team in the hospital and ambulatory clinic. Cleveland Clinic’s heart, liver, lung, intestine, and bone marrow programs provide comprehensive experience in managing renal related complications in other solid organ transplanted patients.

On-Call Schedule

  • Weekend Call
    • Divided equally among all fellows and average one weekend per month.
    • On average, fellows have three golden weekends a month.
    • Two fellows are assigned to call on the weekend; an ICU fellow and a nephrology/transplant consult floor fellow .
    • Additional trainees help provide daytime coverage by seeing new consults and established patients.
  • Night Float System/Weekday Call
    • Starting in 2019, fellows will participate in an AT-HOME night float system designed to reduce trainee burnout and optimize fellow performance during regular scheduled work hours.
    • Night float will occur in two week block intervals.
    • First and second year fellows will have a total of 4 and 6 weeks respectively.
    • The night float fellow will be responsible for addressing only urgent nephrological issues that arise beginning Monday night through Friday morning. Friday through Sunday night coverage will be provided by the weekend fellows.


History of the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension

Dr. Irvine Page arrives at Cleveland Clinic and uncovers the link between high blood pressure and heart disease. He isolates two key peptides in hypertension - angiotensin and serotonin.
1940 History: Dr. Irvine Page | Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Willem J. Kolff develops the first widely used artificial kidney using a shell of a washing machine at Cleveland Clinic.
1943 History: Dr. Willem J. Kolff | Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Harriet Dustan and Eugene Poutasse originated renovascular surgery for the treatment of hypertension.
In1958, the new Department of Hypertension and Renal Disease was formed with Dr. David C. Humphrey as chairman. Dr. Humphrey served from 1958 to 1970.
1958 History: Dr. David C. Humphrey | Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Magnus O. Magnusson pioneered research in kidney preservation, lengthening the waiting time to find suitable transplant donors for recipients.
1960 History: Dr. Magnus O. Magnusson | Cleveland Clinic1960 History: Kidney Preservation | Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic performs its first cadaveric kidney transplant.
1963 History: Cadaveric Kidney Transplant | Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Willem Kolff develops the twin coil artificial kidney out of a peach can and 10 meters of cellophane. He is later named Head of Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Artificial Organs.
1963 History: Twin Coil Artificial Kidney | Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic performs peritoneal dialysis as a temporizing measure prior to hemodialysis.
Dr. William Braun establishes the histocompatibility laboratory for kidney transplantation.
1968 History: Dr. William Braun | Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic’s Board of Governors officially establishes the Department of Hypertension and Nephrology and appoints Dr. Ray Gifford chairman. He served in the role from 1970 to 1985 and again from 1991 to 1992.
1970 History: Dr. Ray Gifford | Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Emmanuel Bravo established the Endocrine-Hypertension Research Lab to study pheochromocytoma and primary aldosteronism making the Cleveland Clinic the largest clinical center studying these complexes disease.
1970 History: Dr. Emanuel Bravo | Cleveland Clinic
Dr. William Braun is appointed Chief of the Renal Transplantation Section at Cleveland Clinic, where the 450th kidney transplant is performed.
Dr. Phillip Hall heads the first glomerular filtration rate (GFR) test which is performed in Cleveland Clinic’s Renal Function Lab, and later becomes the gold standard for measuring renal function.
1972 History: Dr. Phillip Hall | Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is first in the United States to perform continuous dialysis therapy, in parallel with doctors in Germany.
Dr. Emil Paganini and Dr. Satoru Nakamoto (pictured) perform the first slow continuous ultrafiltration in the ICU.
1978 History: Dr. Satoru Nakamoto | Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Marc Pohl, becomes a founding member of the Lupus Nephritis Study Group (LNSG). Dr. Pohl was the co-investigator of the NIH funded SCOR grant for renal vascular hypertension.

1979 History: Dr. Marc Pohl | Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Don Vidt was appointment chairman of the Department of Hypertension and Nephrology and led the department from 1985 to 1991.
1985 History: Dr. Don Vidt | Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Joe Nally joins the Cleveland Clinic and studies captopril renography to help diagnosis renovascular hypertension.
1987 History: Dr. Joe Nally joins the Cleveland Clinic and studies captopril renography to help diagnosis renovascular hypertension.
Dr. Vincent Dennis was appointment chairman of the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension. He served from 1992 to 2001. The department consisted of 14 members.
1992 History: Dr. Vincent Dennis | Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic participates in the Collaborative Study Group, formerly LNSG, investigates the use of ACE inhibitor (captopril) to treat type I diabetic nephropathy. The landmark trial revolutionizes the treatment of kidney disease.
Dr. Emil Paganini (pictured) and Dr. Charuhas Thakar develop the risk assessment score used to predict acute kidney injury in the ICU at Cleveland Clinic.
2000 History: Dr. Emil Paganini (pictured) and Dr. Charuhas Thakar and develop the risk assessment score used to predict acute kidney injury in the ICU at Cleveland Clinic.
The Collaborative Study Group studied the effects of ARB inhibitor (irbesartan) on DM2 (IDNT Study) and publishes its results in the New England Journal of Medicine
2010 to present
Dr. Jonathan Taliercio is the principle investigator for the NIH funded landmark study Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study (CRIC). The study has produced over 53 ancillary studies and 100 publications and has been responsible for discoveries such as the association of CKD and heart disease and FGF-23.
2001 to present History: Dr. Jonathan Taliercio  | Cleveland Clinic
The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM) was established between the Cleveland Clinic and the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) with $100 million gift. The first call was enrollment in 2004. It is a five year tuition free program designed to develop physician researchers. In 2019, CCLM will move to its new Health Education Campus where medical, nursing, dental medicine and physician assistant students will engage in collaborative, interprofessional learning. Dr. Nally and Dr. Hall were instrumental in developing the highly regarded nephrology and hypertension problem based learning curriculum.
Cleveland Clinic’s publishes in Kidney International its initial results using a bioartificial kidney with a renal tubule assist device to treat acute renal failure patients in the ICU.
Dr. Martin Schreiber served as chairman of the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension from 2005 to 2012.
2005 History: Dr. Martin Schreiber | Cleveland Clinic
Dr. William Fissell is awarded a $3.2 million grant to develop the bioartificial kidney at Cleveland Clinic.
2006 History: Dr. William Fissell is awarded a $3.2 million grant to develop the bioartificial kidney at Cleveland Clinic.
The Glickman Tower is completed and becomes the new home of the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, which includes the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension.
2008 History: The Glickman Tower is completed and becomes the new home of the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, which includes the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension | Cleveland Clinic
2009 to present
Dr. Joseph Nally develops the Chronic Kidney Disease Registry which is an electronic medical record database used to study the epidemiological of CKD disease. The CKD registry has over 150,000 patients with CKD. There are over 25 publications to date dedicated to scientific links between CKD and cause of death.
2009 to present History: Dr. Joseph Nally develops the Chronic Kidney Disease Registry.
The Cleveland Clinic was a participating site for the landmark NIH trial Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) Study. This study results had an instrumental role in changing blood pressure management guidelines to a more intensive strategy.
2010 History:  Cleveland Clinic was a participating site for the landmark NIH trial Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) Study.
2012 to present
Dr. Robert Heyka has served as chairman of the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension since 2012.
2012 to present:  Dr. Robert Heyka has served as chairman of the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension since 2012.
2013 to present
Dr. James Simon is on the medical advisory committee for the Alport’s Syndrome Foundation. His expertise is in the diagnosis and management of Alport’s disease in females.
2013 to present:   Dr. James Simon is on the medical advisory committee for the Alport’s Syndrome Foundation.
2014 to present
Dr. Leal Herlitz joined the Cleveland Clinic as the Director of Medical Kidney Pathology and is the site pathologist for the NIH sponsored Kidney Precision Medicine Project. She has been instrumental in developing the nephrology fellowship pathology experience.
2014 to present:   Dr. Leal Herlitz joined Cleveland Clinic as the Director of Medical Kidney Pathology and is the site pathologist for the NIH sponsored Kidney Precision Medicine Project
2015 to present
Dr. George Thomas, who also served as the SPRINT principle investigator, was fundamental in establishing the department as a designated Comprehensive Hypertension Center by the American Society of Hypertension.
2015 to present:  Dr. George Thomas, who also served as the SPRINT principle investigator, was fundamental in establishing the department as a designated Comprehensive Hypertension Center by the American Society of Hypertension.
2017 to present
Dr. John Sedor joins the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension as the director of research. He is a national leader in APOL1 research and is the principle investigator for the NIH funded Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP). The KPMP mission is to create a kidney atlas, define disease subgroups, critical cells, pathways, and targets for novel therapy.
2017 to present: Dr. John Sedor joins the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension as the director of research.
2017 to present
The Cleveland Clinic participates in two NIH funded multicenter trials; CureGN and NEPTUNE Study. Both studies are committed to the longitudinal study of podocytopathies, response to therapy, and disease progression, with the ultimate objective to cure glomerulonephropathy. Dr. John O’Toole serve as the principle investigator.
2017 to present: Dr. John O’Toole | Cleveland Clinic
2018 to present
Dr. Georges Nakhoul was awarded the William and Sandra Bennett Scholar grant from the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). This award is granted for those re-shaping the renal curriculum for the future. He is actively working on a virtual learning platform of the nephron.
2018 to present:  Dr. Georges Nakhoul was awarded the William and Sandra Bennett Scholar grant from the American Society of Nephrology (ASN).
2019 to present
Dr. Emilio Poggio is awarded NIH funding for APOL1 Long-term Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Network (APOLLO) Study. The prospective study is assessing the effects of renal-risk variants in the apolipoprotein gene. He also serves as the principle investigator for Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation (CTOT).
2019 to present:  Dr. Emilio Poggio is awarded NIH funding for APOL1 Long-term Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Network (APOLLO) Study.
Training and Curriculum

Training and Curriculum

First Year Fellow Schedule

The fellowship begins with a popular four-week orientation program, followed by four-week modules. The first year is aimed at developing a strong fundamental in clinical inpatient nephrology. First year fellows will have nine inpatient experiences, rotating in each of the three core hospital services - general nephrology consults, renal transplant service, and intensive care nephrology teaching consults. The remainder of the year is comprised of two research modules and an ambulatory VA clinic module.

  • Orientation (1 module)
  • General Nephrology Consults (3 modules)
  • Intensive Care Nephrology Teaching Consults (2 modules)
  • Renal Transplantation Service (3 Modules)
  • At Home Night Float (1 module)
  • Research (3 modules)
  • Ambulatory Specialty Clinic (1 module)
  • Outpatient In-center Hemodialysis and Home Therapies
  • Longitudinal Ambulatory Clinic (1/2 day once a week)

Second Year Fellow Schedule

The second year of training is designed to hone ambulatory acumen and foster future career goals. Fellows will have approximately two rotations in one of the three core inpatient hospital experiences. Additional inpatient experiences include apheresis, renal pathology, kidney biopsy, and interventional nephrology. There are approximately seven research modules. Second year longitudinal experiences include kidney transplant clinic, ambulatory specialty clinic, and outpatient in-center hemodialysis and home dialysis therapies.

  • General Nephrology Consults, ICU Teaching Consults, or Renal Transplant Service (2 modules)
  • At Home Night Float (1.5 module)
  • Research (7 modules)
  • Kidney Biopsy (1 module)
  • Apheresis (0.5 module)
  • Renal Pathology Rotation (0.5 module)
  • Longitudinal Ambulatory Clinic (1/2 day once a week)
  • Outpatient In-center Hemodialysis and Home Therapies
  • Kidney Transplant Clinic
  • Renal Genetic Clinic
  • VA Ambulatory Clinic
  • Ambulatory Specialty Clinic
  • Interventional Nephrology
  • VA Ambulatory Rotation

Descriptions of Rotations

General Nephrology Service Consults

The general nephrology service provides consultation to patients who reside on the regular nursing floors of Cleveland Clinic’s 1,400 bed quaternary referral center. This experience is revered by our department and fellows due to the wide spectrum of disease discovered. The fellow will gain expertise in diagnosing and managing hospitalized patients with acute kidney injury, advanced chronic kidney disease, electrolyte and acid-base disorders, vasculitis or other autoimmune disorders, podocytopathies, severe hypertension, pre-operative risk assessment, and peritoneal dialysis. Fellows develop leadership and team management skills while working with residents and medical students who also rotate on this service.

Intensive Care Nephrology Teaching Consults

The nephrology critical care experience is unparalleled, as our 250 ICU beds have one of the highest acuity scores in the nation. The department preformed > 6,000 days of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and > 20,000 intermittent hemodialysis sessions in 2018. The intensive care nephrology teaching consult service provides renal consultation to many multiple-disciplinary ICU units (cardiothoracic, cardiac, heart failure, medical, surgical, vascular, neurology). On this rotation, the fellow will gain competency in body fluid balance, electrolytes disturbances, and acid base disorders. The fellow will become proficient in the diagnoses and management of acute kidney injury in the ICU patient, including post-operative care and multi-organ failure disorders such as sepsis, cardiorenal, hepatorenal, and renal pulmonary disease. The fellow will also gain experience with various acute intermittent and continuous renal replacement therapies (CRRT) such as (CVVHD, CVVHF, CVVHDF, SCUF) and the use and limitations of peritoneal dialysis in the ICU patient. The trainee will learn how to seamlessly use dialysis modalities in conjunction with other lifesaving ancillary modalities such as ventricular assist devices (VAD) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The fellow will work directly with the nephrology staff, in addition to interacting with a variety of medical and anesthesiologist intensivists and surgeons.

Renal Transplantation Service

Cleveland Clinic’s kidney transplant program was founded in 1963 and since that time more than 3,000 kidney transplants have been performed; approximately 160 per year. The Transplant rotation is the major venue for fellow’s exposure to hospitalized transplant patients. The service consists of two entities, a co-primary transplant service and a medical transplant consultative service.

  1. The Transplant Co-Primary Service cares for renal and pancreas transplant patients admitted to the transplant service. The service is composed of the surgical transplant team and medical transplant team. The medical team consists of a transplant nephrology staff, third year nephrology transplant fellow, and the general nephrology fellow. Patients on the service are those who are to receive a kidney and/or pancreas, or recent transplant recipients who are hospitalized for an allograft related complication such as rejection and infection. Fellows will gain competency in diagnosing and managing acute and chronic rejection, immunotherapy, infections, and malignancy including post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). There are no additional call responsibilities associated with the primary service. General nephrology fellows are not responsible for admitting, discharging, or completing medical reconciliations.
  2. The medical transplant consult service provides nephrological expertise for all renal and/or pancreas transplant not on the primary service, other solid organ transplants (heart, lung, liver, intestine), and bone-marrow transplants. Fellows have the opportunity to attend the pre-transplant evaluation clinic, transplant selection committee meetings, and transplant pathology rounds. The medical transplant team consist of the transplant nephrology staff, a general nephrology fellow, residents, and medical students.

Research Rotation

Scholarly activity is vital for the fellow’s professional development. To foster investigation, 10 research modules are included in the 26-module fellowship. Fellows are paired with research mentors early in their training to help complete one mandatory research project and to work on additional projects to enhance their academic portfolio before graduation. First and second year fellows will present their work at the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) meetings, respectively. The program has monthly research conferences to provide guidance in determining feasibility, study design, analytics, and methodology. Fellows will have access to use several large nationally recognized registries such as CKD registry, Acute Kidney Injury Registry, and the UNOs transplant registry. Many on the nephrology staff serve as principle investigators of major NIH funded trials; Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study (CRIC), Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP), Clinical Trials of Organ Transplantation (CTOT), and APOL1 Long-term Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Network (APOLLO), and Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). Please refer to the Research tab to see a complete description and listings of all the research being conducted in the nephrology department. Fellows who plan to pursue a career in research can apply for the Case Western Reserve University-Cleveland Clinic T32 clinical research fellowship grant, which supports one eligible position per year and offers the opportunity for two additional years of funded research.

Ambulatory Specialty Clinics

Fellows have the opportunity to work with leaders in the field of nephrology in several specialized clinics to tailor their expertise and future career interest. Available electives include:

  • Stone Clinic
  • Hypertension Clinic
    • (Designated as a Comprehensive Hypertension Center by the American Society of Hypertension)
  • Glomerulonephritis (GN) Clinic
  • Lupus Clinic
  • Kidney Transplant Clinic

Outpatient In-Center Hemodialysis and Home Therapies

This longitudinal experience allows fellows to gain competency in the care of an end stage renal disease patient in various outpatient setting such as in-center and nocturnal hemodialysis, home hemodialysis, and peritoneal dialysis. The experience is split into two components; in-center hemodialysis experience and home therapy dialysis (peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis). Expectations are different based on the level of training. Fellows will learn how to initiate and modify dialysis prescriptions based on adequacy, learn and adjust protocols for bone mineral disease and renal anemia, evaluate and manage medical complications associated with dialysis, access monitoring, evaluate PET testing, and participate in care plan meetings. Fellow will learn the responsibilities of the medical director such as water treatment, quality improvement, and other regulatory processes.

Longitudinal Ambulatory Clinic

Trainees have a half day a week of on-site clinic throughout the two-year fellowship. Fellows will learn the honor of being the patient’s doctor. Patients are scheduled with the fellow and view the fellow as their primary nephrologist. Consistent preceptors are paired with a fellow for six-month intervals providing guidance, education, and supervision of all clinical interactions.

VA Ambulatory Clinic and Quality Improvement Project 

The VA rotation provides two experiences; a faculty supervised ambulatory clinic and an enriched quality improvement/research project (QI/RP). Fellows will have the privilege of managing veterans with a wide spectrum of renal pathology. Fellow’s with be expected to diagnosis and treat patients with CKD, hypertension, electrolyte and acid-base disorders and glomerulonephritis. Fellows will have the opportunity to work in a different healthcare delivery model and interact with other VA disciplines to help coordinate multidisciplinary care for their patients. The rotating fellow will be assigned 5 (1/2 day) outpatient nephrology clinics. The remaining time will be used for a longitudinal QI/RP to help promote scholarly activity.

Interventional Nephrology Experience

Fellows will learn from formally trained interventional nephrologists for the placement, exchange, or extraction of non-tunneled and tunneled lines using fluoroscopy and ultrasound. In 2020-21, we will continue to expand our interventional experience to include percutaneous endovascular procedures to manage dysfunctional arteriovenous fistulas or grafts, address, insertion of peritoneal dialysis catheters, ultrasonography of kidneys, and ultrasound-guided renal biopsy. 

Kidney Biopsy Rotation

This four-week rotation, completed in the second year of fellowship, allows hands on experience and competency in performing ultrasound guided percutaneous native and transplant kidney biopsies. In the first week, fellows will rotate with a radiologist to learn ultrasonography principles and practice knobology. In the remaining three weeks, the fellow will perform ultrasound guided percutaneous kidney transplant under the supervision of the radiologist.

Apheresis Rotation

This two week rotation in the Department of Hematology-Oncology occurs during the second year of fellowship. The trainee will gain expertise in transfusion medicine while working closing with apheresis staff. Educational objectives of the experience is to apply the American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) guidelines to various hematological and nephrological disease. The fellow will develop competency in identifying the indications, mechanics, complications, and prescribing of apheresis.

Renal Pathology Rotation

The Cleveland Clinic is an international reference laboratory that received over 2,500 renal biopsies from all over the world in 2019. The nephrology fellow has the opportunity to shadow a renal pathologist for a two-week rotation in their second year. The goal of this rotation is to consolidate the fellow’s renal pathology experience. The trainee will learn how to processes a kidney biopsy, apply standard stains, and use ancillary diagnostic techniques such as immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Fellows are expected to become increasingly proficient at light microscopy and recognizing pathologic findings in native and transplant biopsies, such as diabetic nephropathy, podocytopathies, renal vasculitis, interstitial nephritis, and rejection. Trainees should be able to integrate clinical information with pathological findings to render an accurate diagnosis of commonly encountered medical renal disease.

Kidney Transplant Clinic

Transplant Continuity Clinic is a minimum 12-week experience intended for second year fellows to experience continuity in outpatient transplant care. Fellows will learn how to diagnosis and treat renal and/or pancreas transplant complications, monitor immunosuppression medication, and address transplant related infections. Trainees will evaluate transplant recipient and donor evaluations and attend selection committee meetings. Fellows will learn how to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to optimize coordination and patient care.

Renal Genetic Clinic

The Renal Genetic Clinic is an elective for fellows who would like additional exposure to both pediatric and adult patients with chromosomal and monogenic disorders. The Cleveland Clinic Genetic Clinic has experienced a 7 fold increase in patient volume since 2019. Fellows will collaborate with our nephrologist and medical geneticist, and medical counselors to help diagnoses and manage patients who have rare genetic diseases such as ADPKD, ARPKD, ADTKD, nephronophthisis, Alport syndrome, Fabry disease, Batter and Gitelman syndrome, aHUS, and Dent disease.



Cleveland Clinic Nephrology and Hypertension Fellowship Program has a two year revolving core conference series. There are a variety of hour-long conferences to meet all educational goals to foster expertise in the field of nephrology and hypertension. This curriculum offers a blend of traditional didactics, multi-disciplinary case conferences, and problem-based learning. Additional offerings include morbidity and mortality, quality improvement, practice management, healthcare finance, and transplant conference.

Conference Schedule

Day of Week Rounds/Lecture
Monday Case Management Conference
Monthly Renal Pathology Conference
Tuesday Core Curriculum Conference
Monthly Renal Pathology Slide Review
Wednesday Nephrology Grand Rounds
Thursday Problem-based Learning (PBL)
Home Therapy and Hemodialysis Lecture Series
Monthly Board Review
Friday Monthly Journal Club
Research Conference
Practice Management


Case Management Conference
This weekly conference addresses diagnostic or management dilemmas in nephrology and hypertension. Actual cases are presented by the staff who highlight teaching points through guiding questions. The fellow will present a short 30-minute literature review. Interactive discussion about the intricacies of the case and current standards of care are exchanged between attendees.

Monthly Renal Pathology Conference
Cleveland Clinic is an international reference laboratory that receives over 1,300 renal biopsies from across the world in 2018. Every month, the renal pathologist will select interesting teaching cases and present the biopsy images to the department. The pathologist will present a didactic on each case presented. Diagnostic and therapeutic management considerations are discussed between staff and fellows.


Core Curriculum Conference
This two-year rotating traditional didactic focuses on educating fellows on the full spectrum of nephrology and hypertension. Topics include renal physiology, fluid and electrolytes disorders, glomerular disease, hypertension, hereditary disease, transplantation, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, and stone disease. Distinguished faculty from the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute and other departments present on various areas of expertise.

Monthly Renal Pathology Slide Review
This monthly hands on experience enables the fellow to navigate and examine native and transplant kidney biopsy using a multi-headed microscope with a renal pathologist. Fellows will also learn how to read patterns of immunofluorescence and electron microscopy findings. Trainees will be able to integrate clinical information with histological features to render an accurate diagnosis for common medical diseases.


Nephrology Grand Rounds
Fellow’s will give one grand rounds per year. The fellows is expected to identify an area of interest for self-discovery, undertake an extensive literature search, and present the topic in an organized, concise forum to peers and staff.


Problem-based Learning (PBL)
Fellows are presented with medical cases which are partnered with Tuesday’s core curriculum conference. Case-based scenarios engage trainees to use problem-solving and team participation skills in acid-base disorders, electrolytes disturbances, hypertension, apheresis, and toxicology.

Home Therapy and Hemodialysis Lecture Series
This lectures series combines the fundamentals concepts and physiological principles of peritoneal dialysis, home hemodialysis, and hemodialysis modalities. Fellows learn about urea kinetic modeling, dialysis adequacy, prescription writing, dialysis apparatus, water treatment, medical director responsibilities, access management, and complications of dialysis.

Monthly Board Review Conference
This staff run board review conference uses current nephrology and hypertension questions and answers to help with board preparation. For more than ten years, the department has had a 100% pass rate for the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Certification Exam in Nephrology and Hypertension.


Journal Club
This monthly conference exposes fellows to important current research in nephrology and hypertension and gives them the experience to critically appraise published literature.

Biostatistics Club Conference
This monthly conference introduces fellows to the basics of medical statistics, study design, and research methodology to help augment journal club and other scholarly endeavors.

Research Conference
This monthly conference focuses on promoting fellow research and supporting their efforts in completing a research study. Fellows will be mentored in project resources, feasibility, development, execution, and manuscript writing with the goal of publication. Fellows will present their work at the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) clinical meetings.

Practice Management
This three session conference exposes the fellow to basic financial principles of healthcare. The goal of the conference is to help the fellow appreciate different practice models, current healthcare regulation, organizational structure, and financial impacts. This conference is led by staff with Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degrees in healthcare.

Faculty Nephrology Fellows

Nephrology Fellows

Current Fellows

Class of 2021

 Liza Cholin Liza Cholin - Chief Nephrology Fellow
Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine 
Residency: University of Louisville 
Awards/Honors: T32 NIH Grant Funded Fellow, Developed "Little Lectures Series" - A medical curriculum for the video series entitled "Little Lectures." Using the ABIM blueprint and the medical students' required topics, she created a list of useful topics for residents to teach medical students who are rotating through our internal medicine service. She was also responsible for recruiting residents for these lectures, and reviewing the content that they will present. Partakes in regular meetings on how to further innovate the lecture series. Speaks Bulgarian
 Mohamed Hassanein Mohamed Hassanein
Medical School:
Alexandria University Faculty of Medicine - Egypt
Michigan State University
Outstanding Resident of the Year in Nephrology Award (2018). David Greenbaum Emerging Leader Award (2019).
 Aimen Liaqat

Aimen Liaqat
Medical School: Dow Medical College
Residency: St. Barnabas Medical Center
Awards/Honors: Awarded six distinctions (Honors) in 1st and 2nd year Biochemistry, Pathology, Forensic Medicine, Ophthalmology and ENT during medical school. Awarded two honors in Pediatric rotation 2010 and ENT rotation 2011 at Civil Hospital Karachi, Pakistan. Third Prize Winner for poster at ACP NJ Chapter Meeting 2018. Volunteer for the DUHS Flood Relief Program. Member of the organizing committee for the National TB Control Program in Karachi, Pakistan. Level One Trainee for the First Response Initiative of Karachi, Pakistan. Student volunteer for the Pakistan Welfare Organization in Karachi, Pakistan. Speaks Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu.

 Yuliya Sharakova Yuliya Sharakova
Medical School: Vitebsk State Medical University 
Residency: Detroit Medical Center/ Wayne State University
Awards/Honors: Speaks Russian. 

Class of 2022

 Korey Bartolomeo Korey Bartolomeo 
Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Awards/Honors: ASN STARS Recipient (2019). Penn State Health Nephrology Resident of the Year (2018). 
 Moarij Qazi

Moarij Qazi
Medical School: Army Medical College, Pakistan 
Residency: University of Nevada Las Vegas 
Positions held prior to Fellowship: Hospitalist – John Peter Smith Hospital, Fort Worth Texas 
Awards/Honors: Annual Medical school Scholarships 2008-2012.Star resident of the year 2015-16 Sea biscuit Hospitalist Award JPS sound physician 2019

 Hanny Sawaf Hanny Sawaf
Medical School: Saba University School of Medicine
Residency: TriHealth - Good Samaritan Hospital
Awards/Honors: Chief medical resident, ASN Award Recipient, Multiple time University of Kansas CLAS Honor Roll/Honor Roll member, Speaks Arabic 

Jad Tabbara

Jad Tabbara
Medical School: American University of Beirut 
Residency: Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Positions held prior to Fellowship: Primary care/QI physician at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (KSA)
Awards/Honors: 1st Place Award for the Best “Senior Resident Grand Round” at Saint Louis University (2020). Resident of the month(10/2017). Graduated with distinction B.S Biology (2003), Distinction: Medicine II(2007)-American University of Beirut. 

 Yeee Xin Tan

Xin Yee Tan
Medical School: 
Palacky University Olomouc
Residency: Lincoln Medical Center, NY
Awards/Honors: Chief Medical Resident, Lincoln Medical Center. Resident Awards - “ Best Patient Care” 2017, “ Best Team Work” 2018. Second prize winner for Lincoln Research Symposium 2019 [Case Report Category]. First Class Honors: MD degree - Palacky University Olomouc. National Scholarship by Public Service Department, Malaysia for undergraduate studies. ASEAN Pre-university Scholarship by Ministry of Education, Singapore. World Vision 30 Hour Famine volunteer. Speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Malay. 

Transplant Fellow

Omar Aleter Omar Aleter
Medical School: University of Jordan
Residency and Nephrology Fellowship: University of Texas-Medical Branch at Galveston UTMB

Past Fellows

Name Class Current Position
Rahul Kumar 2018-2020 Yale Critical Care Fellowship
Roulan Abu Hweij 2018-2020 Cleveland Clinic, OH
Rhyan Maditz 2018-2020  Cleveland Clinic, OH
Ali Mehdi  2018-2020 Cleveland Clinic, OH
Bushra Syed 2017-2020 University of Mississippi, MS
Anum Malik  2017-2019  Cleveland VA, OH
Rami Azem  2017-2019  Jamal Azem Inc.
Tarek Ashour  2017-2019  Cleveland Clinic, OH 
Rebecca Blonsky 2016-2018 Marshfield Hospital, WI
Samir Brahmbhatt 2016-2018 Nephrology Associates, OH
Gayatri Nair 2016-2018 North Shore University Hospital, NY
Adedeji (DJ) Sodeinde 2016-2018 North Coast Nephrology, OH
Yvonne El Kassis 2015-2017 Staff UPenn, PA
Arani Nanavati 2015-2017 Iowa Kidney Physicians PC, IA
Arjun Sekar 2015-2017 Associates in Kidney Care, IA
Masaaki Yamada 2015-2017 University of Iowa/Iowa VA
Taran Kaur 2014-2016 UC Health, OH
Minesh Rajpal 2014-2016 Southwest Kidney Institute, AZ
Reejis Stephen 2014-2016 Southeast Georgia Health System, GA
Saurabh Dasgupta 2014-2016 Mdics At Calvert Llc, MD
Application Process

Application Process

Nephrology and Hypertension Fellowship Program Application Process

Cleveland Clinic’s nephrology fellowship participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Applications are only accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). All applicants must complete a three year ACGME Internal Medicine Residency Program. We welcome trainees on J1 and H1 visas.

For additional information about our Nephrology and Hypertension Fellowship Program, please contact:

Nephrology and Hypertension Fellowship Program
Cleveland Clinic Department of Nephrology and Hypertension
Melanie Symons
9500 Euclid Avenue / Q7
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone: 216.444.5040
Fax: 216.636.4492
Email: NephrologyFellowship@ccf.org

NRMP Registration

All applicants to the Nephrology fellowship program are required to register with the (NRMP) and require the following:

  • A completed ERAS common application form
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation, one from your internal medicine program director
  • USMLE transcript – Step 1,2,3, and clinical skills (CS)
  • ECFMG (for foreign medical school graduates)
  • Personal statement

Important Dates:

  • June 7, 2020: Applicants can register on MyERAS and begin working on their applications
  • July 5, 2020: Fellowship applicants may apply to July application cycle programs
  • August 12, 2020: ERAS PostOffice opens to fellowship programs to start receiving applications
  • August-September 2020: All applicant interviews will be conducted virtually
  • December 2020: Fellowship Match Day

Transplant Fellowship Application Process

Cleveland Clinic’s Nephrology and Hypertension Fellowship Program also offers a one year fellowship by the American Society of Transplantation (AST) for all interested applicants who have completed a two year ACGME general nephrology fellowship. Interested candidates should contact Brian Stephany, MD at 216.444.5382 or at stephab@ccf.org.

Interested applicants should contact the transplant nephrology program coordinator at NephrologyFellowship@ccf.org or the transplant nephrology program director Brian Stephany, MD at stephab@ccf.org.



The following are active NIH funded studies.

  • Sprint EHR/SPRINT Electronic Health Record, George Thomas, MD.
  • SPRINT ASK (Alzheimer’s, Seniors, and Kidneys)/Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, George Thomas, MD
  • CTOT 19/Randomized Controlled Trial of Infliximab (Remicade®) Induction Therapy For Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant Recipients, Emilio Poggio, MD
  • CRIC/Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study, Jonathan Taliercio, DO
  • CTOT 21/Treg Adoptive Therapy in Subclinical Inflammation in Kidney Transplantation, Emilio Poggio, MD
  • Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP), Emilio Poggio, MD and John Sedor, MD

The following are studies that are in the start-up phase (not currently open):

  • APOL 1 Pre-Eclampsia, John O-Toole, MD
  • APOL 1 Studies in Kidney Transplant (ASK-CCC) and APOL1 Long-term Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Network, Emilio Poggio, MD

Learn more about our nephrology and hypertension research.

Living in Cleveland

Living in Cleveland

Cleveland, an ethnically diverse mid-sized city located on Lake Erie, features a host of cultural and recreational attractions. Cleveland Clinic is located near the University Circle area, which is the major cultural center in Cleveland. This area also features the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art, several other museums, and Case Western Reserve University. Downtown Cleveland is approximately 2 miles from the Cleveland Clinic campus.