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Stony Brook Establishes Professorship in Nephrology with $750,000 Gift from Dialysis Clinic, Inc.

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Dr. Edward Nord, Chief of Stony Brook Medicine’s Nephrology Division (left) and Dr. Martin R. Liebowitz, a former Vice Chairman of Medicine at Stony Brook Medicine (right)

STONY BROOK, NY, July 24, 2014 – Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI) has donated $750,000 to Stony Brook University to establish a permanent endowed professorship in nephrology research at Stony Brook Medicine.

The generous gift provides Stony Brook Medicine with a golden opportunity to recruit an accomplished researcher who can spearhead the University’s efforts in studying how to better treat and prevent kidney disease.

“Kidney disease is rampant in our country – afflicting more than 26 million Americans and deeply affecting their families, as well,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., who has made philanthropic support of faculty a priority and has drastically increased the number of endowed professorships at the institution.

“This generous gift from DCI will allow Stony Brook to conduct the kind of research that will produce more effective methods of treatment for those who suffer with this deadly disease,” added President Stanley.

Dr. Vincent Yang, the Simons Chair of Stony Brook Medicine, said the DCI-Martin R. Liebowitz Endowed Professorship in Nephrology will increase the University’s understanding of how different kidney diseases are caused. Liebowitz, a former Vice Chairman of Medicine at Stony Brook Medicine, has been a major proponent for renal disease research at Stony Brook and a role model to students, residents and faculty.

“If we have a better understanding, we can then develop a more effective way to treat – and prevent – end-stage renal disease,” he said. 

Recruitment for the position began this spring; the department is looking to fill the professorship by Jan. 1, 2015.

In order to advance its pioneering research in the highly competitive and costly field of nephrology, Stony Brook needs human and physical resources, said Dr. Edward Nord, Chief of Stony Brook Medicine’s Nephrology Division. An endowed professorship is a vital tool to ensure faculty excellence, he said.

Along with DCI’s gift, Stony Brook Medicine will provide matching funding for a new research faculty salary line and up to $500,000 in one-time start-up funds for the professorship.

“Having a funding source that will provide the financial wherewithal to fund an individual who can do this kind of research will be highly beneficial for the University and for the profession,” Dr. Nord said.

Kidney disease kills over 90,000 Americans every year, according to the National Kidney Foundation. The American Society of Nephrology indicates that up to 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease and that more than 570,000 suffer from kidney failure. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two main causes of kidney disease.

“It’s important that there is not only good patient care, but that there is research that’s done to prevent worsening of kidney function,” Dr. Nord said.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, DCI is the nation’s largest non-profit dialysis provider with 223 outpatient clinics in 28 states. Stony Brook provides medical directorship to the DCI clinic in East Setauket, while DCI’s earnings fund research and education in renal disease.

Stony Brook Medicine’s Dr. Leonard Arbeit, a co-medical director at the East Setauket DCI location, said that over the last decade, DCI has funded about $2 million in research at Stony Brook Medicine. He added that “the goal is to continue to understand the basis of the disease and how to treat it, so fewer people don’t reach the point of end-stage renal disease and need to go to dialysis three times a week, four hours a visit.”

“The advancement of health sciences relating to kidney disease is consistent with DCI’s non-profit mission” stated Ed Attrill, DCI president. “We believe that creating a research professorship in nephrology at Stony Brook will help ensure tomorrow’s physicians are skilled and equipped to improve the lives of patients with kidney disease.”

About DCI
Founded in 1971, Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI) is the nation’s largest non-profit dialysis provider with over 223 outpatient dialysis clinics in 28 states. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, DCI employs approximately 5,000 people serving more than 14,000 dialysis patients. The United
States Renal Data System (USRDS) has found DCI to have the lowest patient mortality and hospitalization rates among the national dialysis providers for 11 consecutive years.

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Reporter Contact: 
Lauren M. Sheprow
University Media Relations Officer

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