Journal Announcement: Editorial Transitions

As we begin another term under the leadership of AJKD Editor-in-Chief Harold Feldman, we want to welcome all the new members of the Editorial Board, and also say goodbye to a few editors, some of whom have been with AJKD for many years.

Laura Dember joined as a Co-Editor under Andy Levey in 2007, then became a Deputy Editor when the journal moved to Penn in 2017. Remarkably, she has handled 7,616 manuscript submissions over her time with AJKD. Jeff Berns, a former president of the National Kidney Foundation, has served as a Deputy Editor alongside Laura to oversee all our educational features. Magdalena Madero joined us as International Editor in 2017 and Tamara Isakova joined as Associate Editor in 2018.

We will greatly miss their insights and contributions during our weekly editorial meetings and thank them for building such a strong foundation for their successors.


Laura M. Dember, MD
Deputy Editor, 2017-2021
Associate Editor, 2007-2016

“15 years, >7,600 articles handled, countless talented authors, wonderful editorial colleagues, exceptional staff, and a front row seat to witness the tremendous growth in clinical investigation in nephrology. Thanks to all!”


Jeffrey S. Berns, MD
Deputy Editor, 2017-2021

“Serving as an AJKD Deputy Editor for the last 5 years has been an incredibly rewarding opportunity and a wonderful learning experience. Editorial meetings Monday afternoon to discuss submitted article, reviewing and editing review articles, perspectives, and policy pieces, working with Ashgar Rastegar to fine-tune a Core Curriculum, and helping to launch and sustain the AJKD Internship Program…each a special experience. I will definitely miss working with Harv, Laura, Holly, all the editors, and the amazing AJKD staff.”


Tamara Isakova, MD
Associate Editor, 2018-2021

“I have many positive reflections from my service as an AJKD Associate Editor. I accepted the position because I was looking for a challenge and a growth experience. I certainly got both in spades. The most important take away for me is a deepening of appreciation for the value of peer review in the process of new knowledge generation. Other unexpected growth areas include lessons about leadership, negotiation, and legacy. Editorial meetings are masterclasses in different types of leadership. Working with authors on revisions flexes the negotiation muscle. Interacting with editorial interns provides an opportunity to impact the future of our profession. I will miss the energy and commitment of the AJKD editorial team but I look forward to continuing to contribute to AJKD in other capacities.”


Magdalena Madero, MD
International Editor, 2017-2021

“My experience as an International Editor was outstanding. It was an unbelievable learning process. During these 5 years I learned in an exponential manner. The editorial team was extraordinary and each member taught me something different. Being an International Editor has been one of the most enriching experiences in my academic career. I will miss the team, the fruitful discussions, and the AJKD family.”


Asghar Rastegar, MD
Core Curriculum Editor, 2017-2021

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve as the Core Corriculum Editor for the past 5 years. During this period, I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of colleagues who served on the advisory board and an outstanding editorial office. I would also like to thank Jeff Berns, AJKD Deputy Editor and my boss, for the role he played in making sure this feature meets the high standard of this publication. I wish Dr Hoenig the best as she assumes this role.”


Dena Rifkin, MD
In A Few Words Editor, 2009-2021

“When I look back on the 70 articles in this section published over the last 12 years, I am proud of how broadly this collection reflects the human experience of kidney disease. It’s particularly meaningful to realize that we published perhaps one of the first reflections on kidney function and race (‘The Color of Kidneys‘) a decade before the recent debate, and also meaningful to hear from other educators around the country that they use these essays in teaching medical students and residents about kidney disease and its impact. I’m grateful to Andy Levey for being willing to devote a page of AJKD to this effort and to Harv Feldman and Jeff Berns for continuing to support it.”

We are excited to announce the new editors who have graciously agreed to join our team and look forward to the many ways in which they will all enrich the journal’s content and features.

Tara I. Chang, MD
Deputy Editor

“Ever since I was a nephrology fellow, I’ve always viewed AJKD as a go-to journal for high-quality clinical nephrology articles, be it original research or educational reviews. That’s why it’s an incredible honor to now have the opportunity to serve as one of the Deputy Editors for AJKD. I am looking forward to working with the entire editorial team to help AJKD continue to provide top-notch content that improves patient care and promotes kidney health.”


Julia Scialla, MD
Deputy Editor

“AJKD is a critical resource to communicate innovations in kidney disease pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention. By supporting continuous learning in nephrology, AJKD has a unique role to play to ensure that patients with kidney disease get the best care now and in the future. I am honored to be able to serve the journal and the kidney community by joining the stellar team of professionals at AJKD.”


Elaine Ku, MD
Associate Editor

“I have been an avid reader of AJKD for many years and am delighted and honored to be joining the editorial team. I look forward to working with peer reviewers and the AJKD team to identify the highest quality work and most impactful scientific discoveries to share with the community.”


Elke Schäffner, MSc
International Editor

“I believe that in times when science is questioned and fake news are spread we need to defend the truth with scientific facts, solid methodology, and well-balanced wording. I hope to contribute to this as an International Editor of AJKD and feel much honored to take on this role.”


Melanie P. Hoenig, MD
Core Curriculum Editor

“I am thrilled to be joining the AJKD team as Editor of the Core Curriculum feature. This feature has always been a favorite! There are big shoes to fill as I follow in Ashgar Rastegar’s footsteps but I know that the advisory group and AJKD staff will help guide me as I learn the ropes. Along these lines, I am grateful that Ursula Brewster, Biff Palmer, and Michael Choi are willing to continue to serve on the advisory group and pleased to share that Bessie Young will join our ranks in the new year.”


Devika Nair, MD
In A Few Words Editor

“I am honored to be able to continue to work closely with the team at AJKD through leading the further development and expansion of this truly unique feature. Narrative writing, distinct from scientific writing, is a unique skill. Narrative storytelling in any form allows us to pause and reflect on difficult or meaningful clinical experiences and gives us permission to be vulnerable. I look forward to continuing to cultivate this sacred space in the kidney disease literature through publishing written, illustrated, and spoken media from all of our contributors. I’m particularly interested in partnering with patients and patient advocates to amplify their perspectives on timely issues that impact the nephrology community as a whole. I have enjoyed contributing to “In a Few Words” and have gained incredible insight into the lived experiences of others through reading and re-reading some incredible pieces over the years. A couple favorite pieces include ‘The Color of Kidneys‘ and ‘Separation‘.”


We are pleased to announce the full list of our Editorial Board here.

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