• Anthony Ndichu Muiru, MD, MPH

    2023 ASN-Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Grant
    Anthony Ndichu Muiru, MD, MPH

    Anthony Ndichu Muiru, MD, MPH

    2023 ASN-Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Grant

    Institution: University of California, San Francisco

    Project Title: Does Your ZIP Code Matter More than Your Genetic Code? The Relative Importance of Structural Racism vs. APOL1 Risk Variants in Explaining Black and White Racial Disparities in Kidney Disease

    How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

    I want to quantify the relative importance of structural racism and genetic risk factors to determine how much each risk factor contribute to Black and White disparities in kidney disease.

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

    Although, the observation that social conditions—not inherent biological differences among Black people (i.e., genetic differences)—was proposed in the 19th century, and numerous health disparity researchers have advanced the notion that "your ZIP Code matters more than your genetic code," few studies have rigorously examined the contribution of structural racism versus genetic differences in driving racial disparities in kidney disease. We will evaluate the relative importance of structural racism vs. APOL1 genetic risk variants in explaining Black and White disparities in kidney disease progression among individuals with chronic kidney disease in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study and prevalent kidney disease after kidney donation in the Living Donor Extended Time Outcomes (LETO) study.

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    My research was inspired by my observation that even though Black Americans have a higher risk of kidney failure than White Americans, they have less access to the best treatment (kidney transplantation). I believe that structural racism contributes to these and other disparities. My objective is to leverage two existing cohort studies to better document the association between indicators of structural racism and progression of kidney disease as well as loss of kidney function after kidney donation.

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

    Understanding how structural racism adversely affects kidney health, will guide how to implement effective anti-racist interventions, and reduce health disparities.

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

    This project will provide me with unique skills and experience in conducting impactful research in health disparities in the U.S. At the end of the project, I intend to launch additional research projects with the goal of becoming an independent internationally recognized leader in kidney disease disparities in the next 5-10yrs.

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

    To not worry alone, reach out to me and others in the community for guidance and mentorship.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    In 2022, I participated in the AIDS/LifeCycle; a 7 day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, to raise awareness about the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic.

    In my free time I like to…

    Travel the world! I want to visit all 54 African countries before age 55.