jerry jackson round 2Jerry W. Jackson, M.D., felt inspired to give to the UAB Division of Nephrology because it gave so much to him. One of the most pivotal moments of a doctor’s career comes when he or she chooses a specialty. School of Medicine 1972 alumnus Jerry W. Jackson, M.D., found his calling as an undergrad. He just didn’t know it yet.

“I went into an internal medicine residency without a clear-cut notion of which specialty profession I would enter, if any,” says Dr. Jackson, who also completed his residency (’75) and fellowship (’77) at the School of Medicine. “Then I had rotations during residency with Dr. [Edwin] Rutsky, and it solidified my decision to go into nephrology. It was kind of a long time coming; it went all the way back to college.”

As one of the first two people in his family to attend college (the other was his twin brother), Dr. Jackson was molded by his undergraduate experience.

“During college, I was in the co-op program and worked for the head of the physiology department,” says Dr. Jackson, who earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Alabama. “I was closely aligned with people from the nephrology division and the basic sciences, so there was a lot of cross-linking and collaboration between physiology and nephrology. By the time I went to medical school, I was already quite familiar with nephrology.”

That predestined specialty expanded into a prolific career spanning 37 years. Through his private practice, Dr. Jackson provided nephrology care to in-patient and ambulatory patients with chronic and acute kidney diseases, and also worked as an interventional nephrologist. Now chairman of the Fresenius Medical Care Patient Safety Council, Dr. Jackson says he wanted to give back to the school that helped shape his professional life. He recently gave $25,000 to the Division of Nephrology for its director Anupam Agarwal, M.D., to allocate as he sees fit.

“I have had a very long and meaningful career in nephrology, and I felt a loyalty and a large degree of commitment to the Division of Nephrology,” says Dr. Jackson. “I felt an appreciation to the division for the training I gained.”

Heavily influenced by speakers who came to UAB during his training, Dr. Jackson was thrilled Dr. Agarwal is using the gift to bring important speakers to nephrology fellows and residents. Dr. Agarwal said fellows will have the opportunity to help choose a speaker, and this will cultivate relationships.

“Dr. Jackson’s gift allows us to bring outstanding speakers to UAB and help them connect with fellows, trainees, and other faculty,” said Dr. Agarwal. “It’s a great networking tool and builds collaborative transactions.”

“I’m happy my gift will meet an immediate need and have a direct impact,” adds Dr. Jackson.

For more information about ways you can give to the UAB School of Medicine, visit

By Emily Henagan