• Caroline Hsu, MD

    2021 Donald E. Wesson Research Fellow
    Caroline Hsu, MD

    Caroline Hsu, MD

    2021 Donald E. Wesson Research Fellow

    Institution: Tufts Medical Center

    Project Title: Predictors of Peritoneal Dialysis Technique Survival

    How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

    Peritoneal dialysis at home has many advantages over traditional in-center hemodialysis, but a large proportion of patients eventually transition to in-center dialysis; my research seeks to better understand why these transfers occur.

    Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.

    Working with a national dialysis provider, I will identify factors which predict a patient's ability to receive peritoneal dialysis treatment at home for as long as possible. 

    What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?

    I hope my research will lead to changes in clinical practice and in policy, which will then enable patients to continue peritoneal dialysis at home for as long as possible. At the end of the day, my goal is to improve the health and quality of life of patients receiving dialysis.

    What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?

    I hope that this project not only identifies predictors of successful treatment, but also generates ideas for how to expand success on peritoneal dialysis. If all goes well, these ideas may even be implemented over the next several years of my career. Taking a broader perspective, I hope that, by conducting clinically oriented research, I continuously improve the care I provide to my patients. Through a faculty position at an academic hospital, I will work with healthcare leaders to advocate for this vulnerable population. 

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    As a clinical nephrology fellow, I cared for peritoneal dialysis patients at all levels of acuity, and I learned to appreciate this treatment modality's advantages while observing its drawbacks, some of which I believe can be overcome or managed. Improving care on peritoneal dialysis at home aligns with the objectives of the 2019 Advancing American Kidney Health (AAKH) initiative, and it may have had an infection control advantage in the COVID-19 pandemic, so it deserves greater attention.

    In one sentence, please describe the importance of having grant funding available through KidneyCure.

    Grant funding, such as that provided by KidneyCure, not only allows young investigators to conduct research which may impact patient care, but also enables these early-career physicians to develop the skills needed to continue carrying out high-quality research for years to come.

    What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?

    This grant funding has secured my career for the next two years, and I now have an opportunity to delve into a clinical question which is meaningful to me and my patients – I feel very fortunate indeed.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    I learned to play hockey in college and still enjoy ice skating on a regular basis.

    In my free time I like to…

    cook from my parents' recipes – they have so many!