For appointments please call ( 773 702 1475) or email (bwilliams15@bsd.uchicago.edu) Banita Williams 

This lovely courtyard, with its gorgeous buildings of quarried Indiana limestone blocks, is accross the street from the medical school and hospital buildings where we practice. I put its image here, as metaphor, if you like, for the rare and precious soil a program like ours could grow in. My colleagues and I study the very patients we care for, transfiguring our work as physicians into knowledge, knowledge that enlarges the greater good. And as we alloy the uniquely dissimilar activities of patient care and research into one thing, we ourselves achieve, in our work at least, a unity of being – Medicine and Research become two sides of one coin, or, as in an older image, the white and yolk of an egg.

Medical Faculty of the Program

Dr. Fredric L Coe

CoeTie4

I began the stone program in 1969 as an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago stationed at Michael Reese Hospital which was then a 1000 bed teaching hospital affiliated with the university.

After graduation from the University of Chicago School of Medicine, I spent four years as a house officer and chief medical resident at ‘Reese’. I then spent two years doing kidney research at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine in San Antonio Texas, and two more as a fellow in the laboratory of Dr Donald Seldin, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, studying the physiology of sodium and water. I became interested in stone prevention after my fellowship, and in 1969 founded the kidney stone evaluation laboratory and began treating kidney stone patients. I have been an NIH funded scientist in kidney stone research since 1976 and continue in that research to today.

In 1995 I founded Litholink Corporation to provide kidney stone laboratory services to US physicians who could not otherwise obtain the kind of quality our UC program has always provided. We sold the company to LabCorp in 2006 and it has continued its excellent services as a subsidiary of that corporation to this day.

I founded this site, in 2015, for the same reasons I founded Litholink and the stone program itself: To bring to the largest possible constituency the means for managing kidney stones. I have made my Google Scholar page public which shows my peer reviewed published work. Here is my CV that lists everything else.

Dr. Elaine M. Worcester

Elaine1bDr. Worcester is Professor of Medicine in Nephrology, Director of the Kidney Stone Evaluation Laboratory and is the principal investigator (PI) of our National Institutes of Health Program Project grant in kidney stone research. At the beginning of her career in Nephrology she worked in my laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow. She accepted a position at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where she worked with Dr. Jacob Lemann, one of the leading mineral metabolism researchers of the 20th century. We were fortunate to get her back to the University of Chicago in 2000.

 Elaine is a world class investigator in kidney stone disease, and an accomplished clinician concerning all aspects of nephrology including, of course, kidney stone prevention. Her research during the past 17 years has elucidated biological mechanisms of hypercalciuria, the high urine calcium losses that raise risk of the common calcium kidney stone and also predispose to serious bone disease. She has also discovered remarkable sex differences in kidney function and systemic acid base balance that affect normal life and mechanisms for kidney stone disease.

She performs her work on humans, making her a true “clinical investigator”, a type less common today but renarkably important. She works mainly in our clinical research center and the protocols she created there are the main engine of the research for our NIH grant on this campus which continues to the present day under her direction as Principle Investigator.

Web Apps and Smart Bottles

Fluid Prescription

Dr. Anna Zisman

ZismanUCDr. Zisman joined us as an faculty member in 2010 and is an Associate Professor of Medicine, in Nephrology. Before that she was a postdoctoral fellow in Nephrology and worked with me and Dr. Worcester learning the specialty of kidney stone medicine. She is among the most talented young physicians in the Department of Medicine, recently honored with the distinguished departmental award as best young clinician. She is Director of our Nephrology Fellowship Training Program. She also directs our stone practice, and has done much to improve the patient experience and maintain the highest standards of quality.

Anna’s research centers at the trisect of race, kidney disease, and stone formation. She has found that the kidney tubule sodium avidity of Caucasian and African American patients with reduced kidney function differ, higher in the latter, an important matter for clinical management. She has also discovered and currently studies differences in mechanisms of kidney stone formation that affect treatment.

We are very fortunate to have this talented young consultant and scientist with us.

Cystinuria

Coke Treatment

Dr. Megan Prochaska

Dr Prochaska joined our faculty in 2020 as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Nephrology. Before that she was a postdoctoral fellow in Nephrology at Harvard University where she worked with Dr Gary Curhan whose work has contributed massively to our understanding of kidney stone disease. While at Harvard Megan published multiple papers with the Curhan group, and also obtained a MS degree in Epidemiology and Statistics. Among her publications, Megan established, for the first time, the direct relationship between urine supersaturation and risk of new kidney stone onset. Megan has chosen an emphasis on obesity, modern bariatric surgery, and bowel disease as causes of stone disease. She is an exciting and brilliant addition to the Nephrology Program here and to our kidney stone research and clinical work. We are thrilled to have her.

 

Dr. Hatim Hassan (UC)

HHassanHatim is both an MD and PhD trained physician scientist who is pan Associate Professor of Medicine in Nephrology. Before joining us here he trained in renal medicine and transport research at Yale University. Hatim has focused his knowledge of epithelial transport on how the intestinal tract controls uptake of oxalate from food and removal of oxalate from blood into the bowel lumen. He is PI of his own NIH R01 grant, as well as other grants, and aims at discovering new molecular modulators of oxalate absorption. Unlike Elaine, Anna, Kristin, Megan and I Hatim uses cells and animals in his research as opposed to human subjects. An accomplished basic scientist whose work aims at new drugs for control of urine oxalate excretion, Hatim is also an excellent clinician and teacher, and an invaluable member of our research group.

Control of Urine Oxalate Excretion

Dr. Luke Reynolds (UC)

Dr Reynolds joined us in July 2020 as Assistant Professor of Surgery and Urology and brings with him a massive background of training and skill in kidney stone surgery. From 2012 to 2017 he trained in Urology at University of Ottawa, Canada. He then completed a two year Fellowship in Endourology at University of Toronto, long a world center for this kind of surgery. His skills include minimally invasive surgery and renal transplant, but his special interest here is in stone surgery, a crucial need for our patients. He has authored one article on the site concerning a specially difficult kind of surgery necessary for large stones – percutaneous nephrolithotomy. He has mastery over all aspects of this difficult work, including an ability to provide his own access to the kidney. We are very fortunate to have this brilliant young surgeon as our collaborator and colleague.

PERCUTANEOUS NEPHROLITHOTOMY

GUEST AUTHORS

In order of number of articles authored

Jill Harris, LPN

Jill worked at Litholink for 12 years. Her main work there was directing a team of 15 people who served patients of that Jill jpegcompany. Especially, the services included help with the kidney stone reports and with advice concerning diet and fluids. At Lithollink, Jill worked with Dr John Asplin and also with me as her medical advisors, and personally interacted with thousands of patients.

Jill is in private practice of online kidney stone diet coaching, and collaborated with me in developing her kidney stone diet course.

Her choice to work online arose from the same impulse as Litholink and this site, which is to bring accurate knowledge to as large an audience as possible with the goal of improving health for people with stones. My desire to work with her, likewise. This ver site is no t enabled to care for people, only to inform them. Her objective was to provide care, through courses, classes, and whatever other means she could find to hand.

High Calcium Low Sodium Diet

Low Oxalate Diet

Low Sodium Diet

How to Drink Enough Water

Variety of Beverages

Dr. Mike Borofsky (University of Minnesota)

P6140312

Mike is an Assistant Professor, Dept of Urology at University of Minnesota School of Medicine. He completed a two year fellowship in Endourology with Dr Jim Lingeman in stone surgery and before that trained in Urology at New York University. During his fellowship years I had the pleasure of working with him. Mike wrote three wonderful articles for the site, on stone pain, MSK, and nephrocalcinosis, and I try to lure him back for a few more. Stone urology is very important to the site – and to patients, so we could use additional articles from him.

Uerteroscopy

Medullary Sponge Kidney

Kidney Stone Pain

Dr. Andrew Evan (IUPUI)

IMG_0827Andy is rightly considered among the greatest living experts on the handling and interpretation of calcified kidney tissue. He is an accomplished anatomist and scientist, and had led our work on kidney stones into new areas that no other group has so far been able to enter. When Indigo began, we had a lot of knowledge here and worldwide about the driving forces for crystal formation, but little knowledge concerning how stones actually form in human kidneys. To find out how they formed, Andy had to work out new methods and adapt old ones to study tiny biopsies taken from human kidneys during stone surgery. Having done this, he proceeded to essentially create the atlas of figures showing human stone formation, and thereby transform this field of science and human disease. Andy was the founding PI of another PPG, concerned with the renal effects of shock wave lithotripsy, and saw that PPG through three funding cycles and a vast array of publications. So, throughout the years of Indigo, with all that has required, he supervised an entire separate group of scientists, published with them, and radically improved understanding of what shock waves can do to kidneys.

Plaque

Tubule Plugging

Joan H. Parks (UC Retired)

joan at quad partyNot a physician, nor a PhD scientist, nor a member of our dedicated staff, Joan is part of the structure of our program still, even though she retired years ago. I put her in her own class because of her unique involvement in the foundation of the program. Joan became my research associate in 1976 and subsequently co-authored with me many dozens of papers, and one whole book. Though not trained in science, Joan has a flair for numbers, and an talent for computer data basing which we began using in 1980, a time when such innovations were rare indeed. I might say Joan must have transferred our precious cargo of patient data from one to another new database software at least 5 times, and it was Joan who put the detailed data from every clinic visit into the file structures from which we have drawn the tables and figures for our many clinical papers. She was funded by NIH as a researcher from 1976 until her retirement. Although retired, she still comes to clinic with me weekly and tries to keep up the data. For years, on and off, Joan wrote our patient newsletter, and I hope she will write some posts for our patients, in her lucid and frankly beautiful prose. This latter has only improved with time as she has used her new found leisure to write novels.

The Low Flows

THE KIDNEY STONE LABORATORY AND CLINIC

Dr. Kristin Bergsland (UC)

Kristin Kristin1joined our group at UC in 2006 and is the technical director of the Kidney Stone Evaluation Laboratory. She has created many of the special assays we need for our research and keeps the stone evaluation laboratory one of the most accurate and reliable in the institution. She is a key part of our research program and an author on many of our publications. Before coming here, Kristin was a senior scientist at Litholink Corporation, now a part of LabCorp. While there she was PI of 3 NIH grants over a 10 year period. I can say our research program could not function without Kristin. More importantly than her scientific executive abilities, Kristin has given considerable thought to the molecules that make up the organic matrix of stones and especially their relationship to the innate immune system. She directs one of the Cores in our NIH Program Project grant. We certainly expect Kristin to contribute posts in the future.

Innate Immunity

Banita Williams

 

NEW TECHNICIAN HERE

Shen Guo

Shen joined Shen in the labus in 2016 to work with Kristin on our research. We study patients in our clinical research center in order to better understand the mechanisms of hypercalciuria. In this work, we feed people with hypercalciuria, and normal controls, too, three meals a day for one day and two the next and measure how the kidneys control calcium balance. The work itself is very hard because it requires many samples of blood and urine all precisely timed. The nurses in the center do the collecting and timing, and the samples come to our kidney stone laboratory where Shen has a main responsibility for the measurements. Like all research, there is an endless labeling and sample preparation, loading samples into instruments, and getting results into the computer for analysis, which she does. Without her care and thought the work would be lost altogether. Shen is a charming and soft spoken person who is always cheery and happy to chat about the day.