Christina Nguyen, M.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics 
  • Medical Director, Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program

Chronic kidney disease is a rare, but significant problem in the pediatric population. The gold standard of treatment of chronic kidney disease is kidney transplantation. Dr. Christina Nguyen is focused on improving the outcomes and quality of life in kidney transplant recipients.  The kidney transplant program is expanding research in several areas.

She serves as the principal investigator for Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative (IROC). IROC is a national learning network focused on eliminating the burden of health, longevity, and quality of life for pediatric kidney transplant and chronic kidney disease patients. The learning objective for 2017-2018 is to improve the accuracy of assessing, recognizing and treating high blood pressure in kidney transplant recipients which we are meeting at nearly 90%. The future focuses will be reducing late rejection and improving quality of life in kidney transplant recipients. 

Dr. Nguyen's other area of focus is examining factors that impact adherence in kidney transplant recipients. The CHP Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program is one of several centers participating in the Teen Adherence in KidnEy transplant - Improving Tracking To Optimize Outcomes (TAKE-IT TOO) study funded through the NIH, which looks at clinically feasible and effective interventions to improve adherence in adolescent and young adult kidney transplant recipients.  The team is also active in studying what psychosocial risk factors are associated with high risk behaviors following transplant through an internal grant with the Hillman Foundation. 

Professional Affiliations/Society Memberships

  • American Society of Pediatric Nephrology
  • American Society of Transplantation
  • International Pediatric Transplant Association


  • Jada Epps Beth Logan, Christina Nguyen:  First Place for UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Quality Week for “The Impact of Pre-Transplant Psychosocial Risk Factors and Post-Transplant Correlations.”  Jada Epps (Bethany College) was our fantastic undergraduate student as part of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Summer Research Program for 2017. 
  • Noel Thompson, Michael Peduzzi:  People’s Choice Award UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Quality Week for “IROC:  Improving Blood Pressure Control for Kidney Transplant Recipients” PMID


Education & Training

  • MD: Northeast Ohio Universities, College of Medicine (NEOUCOM) Rootstown, OH
  • Residency: Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH
  • Fellowships: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, PA

Representative Publications

  1. Squires J, Nguyen C.  Complexity of pre-emptive liver transplantation in children with primary hyperoxaluria type 1.  Pediatr Transplant. 2016 Aug;20(5)604-6. 
  2. Nguyen, C; Shapiro, R.  New immunosuppressive agents in pediatric transplantation.  Clinics.  2014; Suppl 1:8-16.  PMID: 24860853
  3. Nguyen, C; Shapiro R.  Alemtuzumab induction in pediatric kidney transplantation.  Pediatr Transplant.  2013; June; 17(4):319-20.  PMID:  23581963
  4. Nguyen, C; Shapiro R:  Renal failure and transplantation following nonrenal solid-organ transplantation.  Curr Opin Organ Transplant.  2012 Oct;17(5)525-30.  PMID 22941319
  5. Nguyen C, Shapiro R.  Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) after transplantation.  Pediatr Transplant 2011.  Mar;15(2):126-7.  

Research Interests

Christina Nguyen focuses her research in the areas of transplant outcomes, transition of care between pediatric and adult medicine, and infectious complications in kidney transplantation. She is the director of the Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program. She serves as a site sub-investigator in two multicenter, NIH-funded research projects in the field of transplantation. She is a co-investigator for an internal grant with the Hillman Foundation looking at neurocognitive outcomes in very young recipients of kidney transplants. She serves as the site principal investigator in two pharmaceutical trials and a co-investigator on one other pharmaceutical trial. Active projects include outcomes and epidemiology of donorspecific antibodies in pediatric kidney transplantation, a case series on the use of bortezomib to treat acute antibodymediated rejection, and stratification of pre-transplant psychosocial risk factors that are associated with high-risk post-transplant behaviors in kidney transplant recipients.