#NephMadness 2022: Meet the Gamemakers

We are only a few short days away from the launch of the 10th NephMadness! After 364 posts, perhaps it is finally time to introduce the people behind the fun and learning of NephMadness. This remarkable group of people have worked tirelessly to ensure that the NephMadness content is educational and engaging – get to know them below!

March 2022 Update: The gamemakers reveal their favorite animals from Animal House 1, 2, and 3

Anna Burgner @anna_burgner
Anna Burgner is a general nephrologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she is also the nephrology fellowship Program Director. She became involved in NephMadness as a writer and expert for the Diabetic Nephrology Region in 2017 and joined the Executive Team in 2018.

Samira Farouk @ssfarouk
Samira Farouk is a transplant nephrologist and an Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Education and Associate Program Director of the nephrology fellowship program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is Co-Founder of NephSim, a mobile-friendly teaching tool website designed for anyone who wants to learn or teach nephrology. Dr Farouk has been a part of the Nephmadness Exec Team since 2019.

Pascale Khairallah @Khairallah_P
Pascale Khairallah is a transplant nephrologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She is a former AJKD Editorial Intern and wrote the Hospitalist Nephrology Region in 2018 as part of the internship program. Dr Khairallah is currently the AJKDBlog Commentaries Editor. She joined the NephMadness Exec Team in 2020.

Matthew Sparks @Nephro_Sparks
Matthew Sparks is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University and serves as the Program Director for the Nephrology Fellowship. He is a founding faculty member and program director of the Nephrology Social Media Collective (NSMC) internship. Dr Sparks is on the board of directors of Nephrology Journal Club (NephJC), a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing free online medical education in nephrology. He is co-creator of NephMadness (and designed the first logo!).

Joel Topf @kidney_boy
Joel Topf is a clinical nephrologist in Detroit and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. He started his blog, PBFluids, in 2008. He is a co-founder of NephMadness, NephJC and the NSMC social media internship. Dr Topf is a visual abstract editor for CJASN. He is creator and host of the nephrology podcast, Freely Filtered, as well as Channel your Enthusiasm. In 2017, the American Society of Nephrology awarded him The Robert G. Narins Award for Innovations in Teaching.

Anna Vinnikova @KidneyWars
Anna Vinnikova is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the Virginia Commonwealth University (Final Four 2011!!!). In 2018, she organized a NephMadness Party which inspired us to create a Best Party Prize category the next year. We look forward to her kids’ Minecraft videos every year. She is the newest member of the NephMadness Executive Team.

Timothy Yau @Maximal_Change
Timothy Yau is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. He serves as the Director of Clinical Skills for the Gateway Curriculum in St. Louis. Dr Yau was the AJKD Social Media Editor from 2016 to 2021 and is currently the AJKDBlog Interviews Editor. He joined the NephMadness Executive Team in 2016 and wrote the very first Animal House Region in 2018.



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  1. Welcome to #NephMadness 2022 – AJKD Blog
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