$2 million gift advances care for kidney disease patients

The gift will fund future research, help recruit and retain top scientists, and create an endowed professorship.

anderson joomla streamThe Anderson family pictured with Louise Chow, M.D., when she received the Anderson Family Chair in Medical Education, Research and Patient Care.Approximately 14 percent of people in the United States suffer from chronic kidney disease, with nearly half a million people on dialysis, according to the National Institutes of Health. To improve patient care and continue the search for a cure to the disease, the Charles and Hilda Anderson family has made a $2 million gift to the Division of Nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The gift will create an endowed professorship, fund important investments, such as the recruitment and retention of top renal scientists, and create a Research Acceleration Fund to provide resources for the advancement of promising kidney-related research.

Gaurav Jain, M.D., a nephrologist who cares for Mrs. Anderson, will receive the endowed professorship funded by the gift, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.

“When we began dialysis, I did not realize that our nephrologist, in this case Dr. Jain, would become a doctor in every field for us. Anything that happens to my wife medically, we call Dr. Jain first,” said Charles Anderson. “He either gives us an answer or points us in the right direction to get an answer. I have learned that, contrary to other disciplines, a nephrologist has to be a doctor of all types of medicine. He has been remarkable in that regard. He is not only one of the smartest physicians we’ve encountered, but also the most caring.”

“The Anderson family, especially Charles and Hilda Anderson, have been generous supporters of UAB Medicine for a long time,” Jain said. “This gift creates exciting opportunities for our division to expand on our academic mission, with specific goals to advance research and improve kidney health.”

Jain joomla storyGuarav Jain, M.D., provides care to a patient. “The funding for an endowed professorship allows us to recognize a faculty member who is an outstanding clinician and has helped improve the quality of care that we deliver to our patients,” said Anupam Agarwal, M.D., director of the Division of Nephrology and the executive vice dean of the UAB School of Medicine. “The funds for strategic recruitment are also key as it helps us recruit the best nephrologists and researchers and bring them to Birmingham.”  

Agarwal says the gift will benefit patients facing life-threatening kidney disease by generating novel research ideas that hold the potential for new, disease-modifying treatments and improved outcomes for patients.

“We wanted part of the gift to go toward research because we want to help fund anything that may make life easier for patients who live with kidney failure,” Anderson said. “We are proud of the fact that UAB, one of the nation’s finest teaching and research hospitals, is located in Alabama, and we want to help continue its tradition of excellent care and innovation.”  

The Anderson family has also funded and supported the Hilda B. Anderson Endowed Chair in Nephrology, which is held by Orlando Gutierrez, M.D., and the Anderson Family Chair in Medical Education, Research and Patient Care, held by Louise Chow, M.D.