Dr. Anna Mathew – Providing Hope to Patients with Kidney Disease

February 3, 2021

Anna Mathew, MD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Nephrology, treats patients of all ages for a host of kidney diseases including chronic kidney disease, diabetic kidney disease, obesity related disease, inherited kidney diseases, and kidney diseases related to women's health.

Dr. Mathew focuses her research on deciphering the pathophysiological basis of kidney disease and its complications using metabolomics, lipidomics, and proteomics approaches. She has received numerous awards and grants to support her research including the George M. O'Brien Kidney Translational Core Center Pilot and Feasibility Grant, Michigan Nutrition Obesity Research Center Pilot and Feasibility Grant, Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research Pathway to Independence Award, and the Elizabeth Caroline Crosby Research Award.

In 2020, Dr. Mathew received the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Council Young Physician-Scientist Award which recognizes physician-scientists who are early in their first faculty appointment and have made notable achievements in their research. Also in 2020, she was named an Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute - Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Center of Excellence Research Scholar.

Behind the Scenes with Dr. Anna Mathew

Dr. Anna Mathew

Tell us about your research.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD), reducing the life expectancy of CKD and dialysis patients to roughly one-half to one-third that of the general population. My laboratory focuses on understanding the immune-metabolic mechanism behind the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease–associated atherosclerosis. Once these mechanisms are understood, there is significant potential for developing therapeutic and diagnostic strategies to alleviate the increased morbidity and mortality linked to cardiovascular disease in patients with CKD.

Dr. Mathew is the lead author of “Deletion of Bone Marrow Myeloperoxidase Attenuates Chronic Kidney Disease Accelerated Atherosclerosis” which was recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

What are the goals of your research?

My goal is to help kidney patients have a longer, more disease-free life by creating drugs, identifying lifestyle changes, and improving our dialysis and transplantation modalities.

How did you become interested in nephrology?

Nephrologists can offer hope to patients even after the kidneys fail, as the patient can continue living with dialysis and transplantation. I became interested in nephrology because of the fantastic mentors I was fortunate to interact with during my clinical training.

How do you spend your day when you’re practicing?

I am dual boarded in adult and pediatric nephrology and trained exclusively to provide nephrology care for patients across the age spectrum. I split my clinical responsibilities between caring for chronic kidney disease patients at the Nephrology Clinic at Taubman Center, transitioning young adults from pediatric nephrology to adult nephrology at the Young Adult Nephrology Clinic, and supporting dialysis services at the Michigan Dialysis Clinic in the Livonia Center for Specialty Care.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering specializing in nephrology?

Nephrologists provide comprehensive care for patients with the ability to further specialize in areas like critical care, interventional, transplant, and onconephrology. Therapeutics and devices that will improve management of kidney patients are the need of the hour and will be the subject of exciting future nephrology research.

What part of your job inspires you the most?

I am privileged to guide my vulnerable patients as they navigate essential health decisions regarding kidney disease care, dialysis, and transplantation.

How do you balance your work and personal life? 

As a mother of two and a physician-scientist, work-life balance can be a challenge. I rely on being organized and scheduling time for my different roles. I am incredibly thankful for the support I receive from my family and support staff.

What five words best describe you?

Hardworking, resourceful, organized, empathetic, and ambitious.

More about Dr. Mathew...

You can find all of her publications and read more about her research at Michigan Research Experts.

You can keep up with what she and her lab are doing on twitter @annavmathew and @themathewlab.