Clinical Focus

  • Pediatric Nephrology

Honors & Awards

  • Early Career Pilot Grant, Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute (2022)
  • Bridge to K Instructor Program, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine (2019-2022)
  • Jared J. Grantham Research Fellowship, American Society of Nephrology Research Foundation (2019-2021)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Stanford University School of Medicine (2019)
  • Celebrate Life Award, Georgia Transplant Foundation (2019)
  • Hero of Hope Award, American Kidney Fund (2019)
  • Redesign Dialysis: Phase 1 Prize – Clinical Mentor, KidneyX (2019)
  • Ernst and Amelia Gallo Endowed Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute (2017-2019)
  • Anne Elizabeth and Harper Gaston Service Scholarship, Emory University School of Medicine (2012-2013)
  • Meg Jeffrey Memorial Scholarship, Georgia Transplant Foundation (2010-2013)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, American Society of Nephrology (2023 - Present)
  • Member, Transplant Advisory Council, National Kidney Foundation (2022 - Present)
  • Member, Stanford Medicine Diversity Cabinet (2022 - Present)
  • Mentorship Subcommittee Co-chair, Research Committee, American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (2022 - Present)
  • Co-chair, Stanford Medicine Alliance for Disability Inclusion and Equity (2021 - Present)
  • Co-founder and Facilitator, Disability in Medicine Mutual Mentorship Program (2021 - Present)
  • Member, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Ethics Committee (2021 - Present)
  • Member, Board of Directors, American Living Organ Donor Fund (2019 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatrics (2017)
  • Board Certification, American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology (2020)
  • Board Certification, American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatrics (2017)
  • Fellowship, Stanford University, Pediatric Nephrology (2019)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology (2020)
  • Residency, University of Washington, Pediatrics, Integrated Research Program (2016)
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship (2019) CA
  • MD, Emory University, Medicine, Medical Scientist Training Program (2013)
  • Internship: Seattle Childrens Hospital Pediatric Residency (2016) WA
  • PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Biomedical Engineering (2013)
  • Medical Education: Emory University Medical School (2013) GA
  • BS with Distinction, Yale University, Biomedical Engineering (2004)

All Publications

  • Liver transplantation for people of minoritised sexual and gender identities in the USA. The lancet. Gastroenterology & hepatology Lee, T. H., Duong, N., Sutha, K., Simonetto, D. A., Paul, S. 2023


    The number of people who report to be of minoritised sexual or gender identities in the USA, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexuality-diverse and gender-diverse identities, has been increasing in the past decade. This diverse and unique population continues to experience not only health disparities but also psychosocial, economic, and legal disparities in accessing and receiving health care, including liver transplantations. As liver transplantation is life-saving for people with end-stage liver disease, understanding the factors that can affect access to and quality of liver transplantation care in people of minoritised sexual and gender identities in the USA, including differential social supports, insurance coverage, and medical and psychiatric comorbidities, is crucial. Actions, such as collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data, implementing inclusive language, recognising implicit biases, building diverse teams, providing a safer environment, and supporting further research to understand the unique health challenges are needed to ensure equitable access to high-quality liver transplantation care for people of minoritised sexual and gender identities.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S2468-1253(23)00238-8

    View details for PubMedID 37837981

  • Sexual and gender minority relevant policies in Canadian and U.S. organ and tissue donation and transplantation systems: An opportunity to improve equity and safety. American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons Leeies, M., Collister, D., Christie, E., Doucette, K., Hrymak, C., Lee, T. H., Sutha, K., Ho, J. 2023


    Current policies in organ and tissue donation and transplantation (OTDT) systems in Canada and the United States unnecessarily restrict access to donation for sexual and gender minorities (SGM) and pose safety risks to transplant recipients. We compare SGM-relevant policies between the Canadian and United States systems. Policy domains include the risk assessment of living and deceased organ and tissue donors, physical examination considerations, viral testing recommendations, and informed consent and communication. Identified gaps between current evidence and existing OTDT policies along with differences in SGM-relevant policies between systems, represent an opportunity for improvement. Specific recommendations for OTDT system policy revisions to achieve these goals include the development of behavior-based, gender-neutral risk assessment criteria, a reduction in current SGM no-sexual-contact period requirements pending development of inclusive criteria and de-stigmatization of sexual contact with people living with HIV. OTDT systems should avoid rectal exams to screen for evidence of receptive anal sex without consent and mandate routine NAT screening for all donors. Transplant recipients must receive enhanced risk-to-benefit discussions regarding decisions to accept or decline an offer of an organ classified as increased risk. These recommendations will expand the donor pool, enhance equity for SGM people and improve safety and outcomes for transplant recipients.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajt.2023.08.027

    View details for PubMedID 37659606

  • Including sexual orientation and gender identity data to advance nephrology care. Nature reviews. Nephrology Sutha, K., Streed, C. G. 2023

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41581-023-00712-1

    View details for PubMedID 37002366

    View details for PubMedCentralID 7287564

  • Inequities in organ and tissue donation and transplantation for sexual orientation and gender identity diverse people: A scoping review. American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons Leeies, M., Collister, D., Ho, J., Trachtenberg, A., Gruber, J., Weiss, M. J., Chandler, J. A., Mooney, O., Carta, T., Klassen, B., Draenos, C., Sutha, K., Randell, S., Strang, M., Partain, B., Whitley, C. T., Cuvelier, S., MacKenzie, L. J., Shemie, S. D., Hrymak, C. 2023


    Sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) diverse populations experience discrimination in organ and tissue donation and transplantation (OTDT) systems globally. We assembled a multidisciplinary group of clinical experts as well as SOGI-diverse patient and public partners and conducted a scoping review including citations on the experiences of SOGI-diverse persons in OTDT systems globally to identify and explore the inequities that exist with regards to living and deceased OTDT. Using scoping review methods, we conducted a systematic literature search of relevant electronic databases from 1970-2021 including a grey literature search. We identified and screened 2402 references and included 87 unique publications. Two researchers independently coded data in included publications in duplicate. We conducted a best-fit framework synthesis paired with an inductive thematic analysis to identify synthesized benefits, harms, inequities, justification of inequities, recommendations to mitigate inequities, laws and regulations, as well as knowledge and implementation gaps regarding SOGI-diverse identities in OTDT systems. We identified numerous harms and inequities for SOGI-diverse populations in OTDT systems. There were no published benefits of SOGI-diverse identities in OTDT systems. We summarized recommendations for the promotion of equity for SOGI-diverse populations and identified gaps that can serve as targets for action moving forward.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajt.2023.03.016

    View details for PubMedID 36997028

  • Disability Identity Among Diverse Learners and Employees at an Academic Medical Center. JAMA network open Jerome, B., Fassiotto, M., Altamirano, J., Sutha, K., Maldonado, Y., Poullos, P. 2022; 5 (11): e2241948


    This survey study evaluates representation of persons with disabilities across demographic characteristics at an academic medical center.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.41948

    View details for PubMedID 36355375

  • Utilising low-cost, easy-to-use microscopy techniques for early peritonitis infection screening in peritoneal dialysis patients. Scientific reports Buckup, M., Kaneda, J. M., Birk, A. M., Glockner, E., Venook, R., Jain, A., Sharma, S., Wong, C., Sutha, K. 2022; 12 (1): 14046


    Peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients are at high risk for peritonitis, an infection of the peritoneum that affects 13% of PD users annually. Relying on subjective peritonitis symptoms results in delayed treatment, leading to high hospitalisation costs, peritoneal scarring, and premature transition to haemodialysis. We have developed and tested a low-cost, easy-to-use technology that uses microscopy and image analysis to screen for peritonitis across the effluent drain tube. Compared to other technologies, our prototype is made from off-the-shelf, low-cost materials. It can be set up quickly and key stakeholders believe it can improve the overall PD experience. We demonstrate that our prototype classifies infection-indicating and healthy white blood cell levels in clinically collected patient effluent with 94% accuracy. Integration of our technology into PD setups as a screening tool for peritonitis would enable earlier physician notification, allowing for prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent hospitalisations, reduce scarring, and increase PD longevity. Our findings demonstrate the versatility of microscopy and image analysis for infection screening and are a proof of principle for their future applications in health care.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-022-18380-9

    View details for PubMedID 35982214

  • Challenges, Innovations, and Next Steps in Achieving Financial Neutrality for Living Donors CURRENT TRANSPLANTATION REPORTS Mittelman, M., Bertha, R., Sutha, K. 2020; 7 (3): 215-222
  • Organoid-based characterization of patient tumors and microenvironments at single cell resolution Salahudeen, A. A., Zhu, J., Ju, J., Batish, A., Sutha, K., Neal, J. T., Giangarra, V., Montesclaros, L., Sapida, J., Sharifi, O., Lee, J., Zheng, G. X., Wagh, D. A., Coller, J. A., Neal, J. W., Padda, S. K., Sabatti, C., Kuo, C. J. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2018
  • Osteogenic embryoid body-derived material induces bone formation in vivo. Scientific reports Sutha, K., Schwartz, Z., Wang, Y., Hyzy, S., Boyan, B. D., McDevitt, T. C. 2015; 5: 9960


    The progressive loss of endogenous regenerative capacity that accompanies mammalian aging has been attributed at least in part to alterations in the extracellular matrix (ECM) composition of adult tissues. Thus, creation of a more regenerative microenvironment, analogous to embryonic morphogenesis, may be achieved via pluripotent embryonic stem cell (ESC) differentiation and derivation of devitalized materials as an alternative to decellularized adult tissues, such as demineralized bone matrix (DBM). Transplantation of devitalized ESC materials represents a novel approach to promote functional tissue regeneration and reduce the inherent batch-to-batch variability of allograft-derived materials. In this study, the osteoinductivity of embryoid body-derived material (EBM) was compared to DBM in a standard in vivo ectopic osteoinduction assay in nude mice. EBM derived from EBs differentiated for 10 days with osteogenic media (+β-glycerophosphate) exhibited similar osteoinductivity to active DBM (osteoinduction score = 2.50 ± 0.27 vs. 2.75 ± 0.16) based on histological scoring, and exceeded inactive DBM (1.13 ± 0.13, p < 0.005). Moreover, EBM stimulated formation of new bone, ossicles, and marrow spaces, similar to active DBM. The potent osteoinductivity of EBM demonstrates that morphogenic factors expressed by ESCs undergoing osteogenic differentiation yield a novel devitalized material capable of stimulating de novo bone formation in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/srep09960

    View details for PubMedID 25961152

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4426716

  • Osteogenic differentiation of stem cells alters vitamin D receptor expression. Stem cells and development Olivares-Navarrete, R., Sutha, K., Hyzy, S. L., Hutton, D. L., Schwartz, Z., McDevitt, T., Boyan, B. D. 2012; 21 (10): 1726-35


    Pluripotent and multipotent stem cells adopt an osteoblastic phenotype when cultured in environments that enhance their osteogenic potential. Embryonic stem cells differentiated as embryoid bodies (EBs) in osteogenic medium containing β-glycerophosphate exhibit increased expression of bone markers, indicating that cells are osteoblastic. Interestingly, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitaminD3 (1,25D) enhances the osteogenic phenotype not just in EBs but also in multipotent adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). 1,25D acts on osteoblasts via classical vitamin D receptors (VDR) and via a membrane 1,25D-binding protein [protein disulfide isomerase family A, member 3 (PDIA3)], which activates protein kinase C-signaling. The aims of this study were to determine whether these receptors are regulated during osteogenic differentiation of stem cells and if stem cells and differentiated progeny are responsive to 1,25D. mRNA and protein levels for VDR, PDIA3, and osteoblast-associated proteins were measured in undifferentiated cells and in cells treated with osteogenic medium. Mouse EBs expressed both VDR and PDIA3, but VDR increased as cells underwent osteogenic differentiation. Human MSCs expressed Pdia3 at constant levels throughout differentiation, but VDR increased in cells treated with osteogenic medium. These results suggest that both 1,25D signaling mechanisms are important, with PDIA3 playing a greater role during early events and VDR playing a greater role in later stages of differentiation. Understanding these coordinated events provide a powerful tool to control pluripotent and multipotent stem cell differentiation through induction medium.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/scd.2011.0411

    View details for PubMedID 22034957

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3376455