Critical Care Nephrology

The CRISMA Program for Critical Care Nephrology is an interdisciplinary research group with the goal of developing novel treatments and disruptive innovations to prevent, manage, and cure acute disorders of kidney function, as well as fluid and electrolyte balance, in critically ill patients. The Program's diverse faculty and staff conduct basic, translational, and clinical research under these themes:

  • Acute kidney injury
  • Sepsis
  • Acute organ failure and organ support
  • Organ donor management
  • Biomarkers and blood purification
Program Members


  • Joseph Carcillo, MD
  • Cassandra Formeck, MD, MS
  • Dana Fuhrman, DO
  • Hernando Gómez, MD
  • Raghavan Murugan, MD


  • Sandra Kane-Gill, DPharm
  • John Kellum, MD, MCCM
  • Paul Palevsky, MD
  • Ankit Sakhuja, MD


  • Michele Elder, Operations Manager


  • Rahul Bollam, MD
  • Xinlei Chen, Graduate Student Researcher
  • Matthew Foglia, MD
  • Natsumi Hamahata, MD
  • Anna Ralchenko, MD
  • Ivan Saraiva, MD
  • Esha Sondhi, MD
  • Syed Zaidi, MD




Recent and Ongoing Research Projects

Multi-hospital Implementation of an Electronic Decision Support System for Drug-associated AKI (MEnD-AKI)
This is a four-hospital randomized controlled trial (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) to assess the effectiveness of a clinical surveillance system augmented with real-time EMR predictive analytics to support a pharmacist-led intervention to reduce the progression and complications of Drug-associated Acute Kidney Injury (D-AKI). Funding: NIDDK, 1R01DK121730-01A1 (MPI: Kane-Gill/Bihorac/Murugan)

REstrictive versus LIberal rate of Extracorporeal Volume removal Evaluation in Acute Kidney Injury (RELIEVE-AKI) trial
This proposed clinical trial will examine the feasibility of restrictive compared with a liberal rate of fluid removal in order to develop effective treatments for fluid overload and to improve the health of critically ill patients. Funding: NIDDK, R01DK128100 (PI: Murugan/Kashani)

Artificial Intelligence Driven Acute Renal Replacement Therapy (AID-ART)
In this study, we propose to develop and validate an artificial intelligence system that will predict low blood pressure even before they occur and recommend correct treatment to clinicians. Funding: NIDDK, R01DK131586-01 (PI: Murugan/Clermont/Kashani)

Renal Fitness in Young Adults with Congenital Heart Disease
The main goal of this study is to establish an objective method to quantity renal fitness in young adult patients with congenital heart disease, a growing population at risk for numerous kidney insults across a lifetime. Funding: NIDDK, K23KD116973 (PI: Fuhrman)

Phenotyping Renal Cases in Sepsis and Surgery for Early Acute Kidney Injury (PReCISE AKI)
This project studies whether biopsy findings predict patients at high risk for developing new or progressive CKD after an episode of acute kidney injury (AKI). It will relate biopsy findings to recovery status at various time points. Funding: NIDDK, UH3DK114861 (MPI: Palevsky/Murugan/Rosengart)

Biomarker Effectiveness Analysis in Contrast Nephropathy (BEACON)
The main objective of this proposal is to advance National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease's mission of early detection, risk-stratification, and prognostication of contrast-induced AKI. It will provide new scientific knowledge on using biomarkers to monitor patients undergoing angiography and will have a high impact on clinical practice, physicians, and policy makers. Funding: NIDDK, R01DK106256 (PI: Murugan)

The Program for Critical Care Nephrology also has a broad portfolio of industry-funded research collaborations.


For information on activities at the Program for Critical Care Nephrology or to inquire about collaborations and training opportunities, please contact Michele Elder, Operations Manager.