The UC Davis Department of Pediatrics has the only pediatric nephrology and renal transplant program in the Sacramento region. The Nephrology Clinic cares for children on dialysis and those with chronic kidney disease (CKD), renal transplants, hypertension, urinary tract infections, glomerulonephritis, stones, renal tubular acidosis, systemic lupus erythematosus (and other autoimmune disease) and hydronephrosis (and other prenatally diagnosed renal anomalies). Diagnostic and therapeutic services performed by the section include:

  • peritoneal dialysis
  • hemodialysis
  • continuous dialysis
  • renal biopsy
  • renal transplantation

Our nephrologists are widely sought for their consultation services by health care professionals in the Northern California, Southern Oregon, Northern Nevada, and the Greater Sacramento area. We attribute our success to our team approach in which transplant surgeons, urologists, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, dietitians and clinical nurses participate in the care of our patients.

Members of our team are recognized nationally for advances in treatment and research studies benefiting patients who have CKD and those with renal transplants. The section is also very active in providing medical education to all levels of learners (preclinical and clinical medical students, residents, faculty and nursing staff) using a variety of teaching techniques. Members of our section are also engaged in research related to medical education, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, hypercalciuria/stone disease, and ways to improve graft survival and quality of life of children with renal transplantation by using newer medications and treatment approaches. Research funding comes from several sources including the Children’s Miracle Network and the NIH. Recently completed and ongoing studies are looking at:

  • Effectiveness of health care providers in recognizing hypertension in high-risk populations such as children with CKD, diabetes, and obesity
  • Benefits and challenges associated with novel steroid-free immunosuppressive regimens in children after renal transplants
  • Correlation between microalbuminuria and serum inflammatory markers in adolescents of different ethnic backgrounds and of varying BMI
  • Diagnostic tests for hypercalciuria
  • Development of valid tools to measure resident performance as teachers and clinical role models

Faculty and Staff

Lavjay Butani, M.D.

Dr. Butani, Professor of Pediatric and Chief of Pediatric Nephrology, has board certification from the American Board of Pediatrics in pediatric nephrology. He is a member of the American Society of Nephrology, American Society of Transplantation, International Pediatric Transplantation Association, Western Society of Pediatric Research, American Federation for Medical Research and the Sacramento Pediatric Society. His research interests are focused on improving the outcomes after kidney transplantation by optimally using newer immunosuppressive medications and regimens for children and also studying the implications of calcium excretion in the urine on the risk of stones and osteoporosis in children of different ethnic backgrounds. Dr Butani is passionate about medical education and is the Co-Director of the 3rd Pediatrics Clerkship.

Maha Haddad, M.D.

Dr. Haddad, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, joined UC Davis in 2006. She is Board Certified in general pediatrics and in pediatric nephrology, and a member of several professional organizations including the American Society of Nephrology and the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology. One of her main interests relates to the education of medial students and residents. Dr. Haddad’s philosophy of teaching focuses on introducing the basic clinical concepts of medicine to learners with the goal of stimulating them to adopt an analytical process during clinical decision making. The incredible diversity of the patient population cared for at UC Davis and the varied styles of teaching used by Dr. Haddad (formal presentation, small group discussions, problem based learning etc) helps learners achieve this goal and makes the learning experience challenging and interesting at the same time.

Stephanie Nguyen, M.D., M.A.S.

Dr. Nguyen is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and recently joined the Section of Pediatric Nephrology in 2010. She trained at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Nguyen is currently a member of the National Kidney Foundation, American Heart Association, and American Society of Pediatric Nephrology. Clinically, Dr. Nguyen is interested in pediatric hypertension and its outcomes in children at risk for cardiovascular disease. Her current research projects include investigating the role of diet and obesity on the development of kidney disease and hypertension, and studying outcomes of hypertension in children with diabetes mellitus.

Vincent Fong, L.C.S.W.

Vincent Fong is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, specializing in working with children and families. Vincent graduated with a Masters in Social Work in 2003 and received licensing as a Clinical Social Worker in 2008. He has received extensive training in areas of counseling, crisis management, child welfare, and medical social work. The social worker in the Nephrology Clinic works closely with families assisting them with a variety of services that impact their child's health. With the diagnosis of kidney disease there are a number of stressors that can and do arise. The social worker is trained to offer supportive services and referrals to help families cope during this stressful time.

Yulia Kvach, R.D.

Yulia Kvach is a Registered Dietitian, who completed the clinical part of her training at UC Davis Medical Center. Ms Kvach is part of the multidisciplinary nephrology team, working with families and children to improve the nutritional status of pediatric nephrology patients. She is responsible for performing nutrition assessments, developing nutrition care plans and counseling pediatric patients with wide range of complex medical conditions in pediatric nephrology outpatient clinics. Ms Kvach is currently a member of the American Dietetic Association, Renal Dietitians Practice Group and the Pediatric Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group.