Education and Training

The Division of Nephrology provides a variety of education and training experiences including lectures and conferences. 


The division offers a three-year ACGME-accredited fellowship program. The program provides outstanding clinical training as well as opportunities for clinical, translational, and basic research.

The Demetrius Ellis Pediatric Grand Rounds at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

This annual lecture in honor of Dr. Demetrius Ellis, who founded the Pediatric Nephrology division at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in 1977 and who retired in 2017. Dr. Ellis won numerous local and regional awards for outstanding clinical service and teaching while he was a faculty member and was the first clinician to treat pediatric kidney transplant patients with Cyclosporine and later Tacrolimus. The event's invited speakers are nationally recognized pediatric nephrologists whose research and/or clinical programs have had a significant impact. In addition to the scheduled lectures, the invited guests meet with faculty members and fellows and participate in social events that include Dr. Ellis. 

Invited Speakers

  • 2019: Dr. Lisa Satlin
  • 2018: Dr. Minnie Sarwal 
  • 2017: Dr. Samir El-Dahr 
  • 2016: Dr. Craig Langman 
  • 2015: Dr. Michel Baum 
  • 2014: Dr. Ellis Avner 

Clinical Journal Club

This meeting is held every other month, during which attendees discuss relatively new clinical research publications.   Attendees include trainees (fellows, rotating residents, medical students) and faculty members from the Nephrology division.  The fellows present the publications as a group, with individuals discussing the background, study design, results, and conclusions.  At the end of the meeting, the fellows lead a discussion among all attendees about how the study may alter the clinical practice within the division.  The intent of the journal club is to update fellows and faculty on current nephrology literature and to teach trainees how to systematically examine evidence-based medicine 


NIH-sponsored, CME-accredited, Annual Pittsburgh Nephrotic Syndrome Symposium: Focus on Evidence-Based and personalized Approach 

The goal of the symposium is to improve clinical practice today and progress toward updating and expanding the treatment armamentarium for the future. The meeting helps to further clinical practice in glomerular disease, especially in an area such as nephrotic syndrome, which has few large randomized clinical trials comparing treatments or offering population-based conclusions.  The symposium closes the gap between research and the day-to-day care of patients. It helps to overcome the uneven quality of care, increase opportunities for patients to gain access to “compassionate use” treatments and clinical trials. 

Learning Objectives

  • Present up-to-date information on the etiology, diagnostic tools, biomarkers, and treatment of nephrotic syndrome 
  • Close the gap between research and the day-to-day care of patients with nephrotic syndrome 
  • Educate general practitioners and allied professionals about current issues in nephrotic syndrome 
  • Educate patients and families about nephrotic syndrome recognition, diagnosis, and treatment. 


  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences 
  • UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Division of Pediatric Nephrology
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Medicine - Division of Renal-Electrolyte and Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research
  • National Institutes of Health 


Renal/Rheumatology Conference

This meeting is held quarterly, during which attendees discuss clinical topic(s) based on patient cases shared by the Rheumatology and Nephrology divisions.   Attendees include trainees (fellows, rotating residents, medical students) and faculty members from both the Rheumatology and Nephrology divisions.  A fellow from either division leads the discussion of both the case and the teaching topic followed by a question and answer session with input from all attendees. The conference fosters communication and collaboration between the divisions and provides education for all attendees. 

Care Conferences

The Division of Pediatric Nephrology participates regularly scheduled Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) and Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) meeting in the areas of Dialysis, Transplantation, Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy, Urology, Rheumatology and Fetal Medicine. The program also hosts multi-disciplinary monthly patient care conferences focused on upcoming transplant patients.