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Kidney Disease Expert Wins University's Frontier Award

Kidney Disease Expert Wins University's Frontier Award

January 29, 2017

Deidra Crews, an expert on chronic kidney disease and on racial disparities in the condition’s impact and treatment, is the 2018 winner of the $250,000 President’s Frontier Award from the Johns Hopkins University.

The award provides five years of research support for a Johns Hopkins faculty member judged to be ready to break new ground as a leader in his or her field. Crews is an associate professor of medicine in the university’s School of Medicine.

Deidra Crews

Deidra Crews

“Deidra is a truly gifted and creative physician-scientist who has expanded the study of racial and socioeconomic disparities in kidney disease and, as important, tested novel interventions,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of the university. “Her work is already transforming the care of disadvantaged populations with this disease.”

Crews, a nephrologist and epidemiologist, was surprised by Daniels with an award presentation Monday at what she had thought was to be a routine meeting with a colleague. She said she could use the President’s Frontier Award to fund new aspects of her studies, expand her research team, and travel to disseminate the work nationally and around the world.

The award “will certainly go a long way to help support the work I am doing with the help of my collaborators,” she said. “It opens up a lot of possibilities.”

Crews has served as chair of the American Society of Nephrology’s CKD advisory group, sat on that organization’s board of advisors, and is joining its executive committee this year.

She is associate vice chair for diversity and inclusion in Johns Hopkins’ Department of Medicine and last year received its Frederick L. Brancati Excellence in Mentoring Award. At a 2017 Johns Hopkins symposium on minority health, she spoke about her work on a “virtual supermarket,” delivering healthy food to improve outcomes for African-Americans with hypertension and kidney disease who live in areas with limited food choices.

The Frontier Award was created with a donation from university trustee Louis J. Forster and alumna Kathleen M. Pike.

Takanari Inoue, an associate professor of cell biology at the university’s School of Medicine, was recognized as an outstanding finalist. He will receive $50,000 in research support.


View video of Deidra Crews receiving The Frontier Award.

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