All fellows in the Nephrology Fellowship Program at Lankenau Medical Center are required to participate in the division's ongoing involvement in clinical research and, if desired, laboratory research. Fellows will design and carry through to abstract and/or manuscript form and submit for publication or presentation at a peer-reviewed meeting of a research project.

The aim of this research experience is for the fellow to undertake a literature review of the research subject matter to determine the current state of knowledge before undertaking any new investigation. In addition, he or she is involved in the formulation of a hypothesis and specific goals, insuring that the hypothesis is testable and that the goals are achievable. The fellow should be involved in the development of the research plan and the protocol, including informed consent, data collection, protection of privacy, full description of procedures. He or she learns about the development of analytical methods or procedural skills as required, data collection, including preparation of routine data forms and, in particular, data analysis including statistical methodology.

He or she is required to write up research results and submit them for either oral or written presentation at a local or national meeting. Examples of research currently in progress are comprehensive studies comparing continuous renal replacement therapy such as CVVHD vs. conventional intermittent hemodialysis treatments in critically ill patients with acute renal failure in the ICU, hypo-response to EPO therapy and sleep disorders in dialysis patients and dialysis/access evaluation and monitoring.

A teaching attending staff or the program director supervises the fellow in this effort. Because of the presence of the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, there is an opportunity for the fellow to do bench research as well with a member of the Research Foundation.

The research project is a work in progress continuously throughout the Nephrology Fellowship Program. Month-long rotations in both the first and second year allow additional targeted time for development and completion. To the extent that free time exists during the research rotation, the fellow should participate in ambulatory care experiences.