I serve as the Associate Program Director for the Nephrology Fellowship Program. My goal is to work with each fellow to ensure that each develop a successful career in whatever pathway they choose. In my role as Director of Medical Student Research in the Department of Medicine I help promote research in the Department of Medicine during the 3rd year of medical school at Duke University.
Nephrology Fellowship Program
My laboratory is interested in understanding how both the renin angiotensin and prostanoid systems regulate blood pressure by altering blood flow to the kidney. We use a combination of physiologic and molecular techniques in genetically modified mice to probe questions about how changes in the micro circulation in the kidney alter sodium excretion. The overarching goal of this research is to identify novel mechanisms to target drug therapy for patients with hypertension. My research has been funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development and the American Heart Association. We also explore the link between pulmonary hypertension and CKD. Recently, we are investigating the like between SARS-CoV-2 and Renin Angiotensin System.
Sparks Laboratory Website
I'm also interested finding ways to promote medical education. My focus is on leveraging social media to enhance learning in nephrology. I am a faculty member of the Nephrology Social Media Collective (NSMC) and member of the board of directors of nephrology journal club (NephJC), a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing free online medical education in nephrology. I am also co-founder and advisory board member of the first nephrology blog associated with a journal- AJKD blog, the official blog of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Co-creator of the popular educational project NephMadness. Past deputy editor of Renal Fellow Network where I continue to remain as faculty lead. I am currently a member of the Communications and Media Committee of the American Society of Nephrology, the American Heart Association and am a fellow of the American Society of Nephrology, the American Heart Association, and the National Kidney Foundation.
I serve as Education Director for KIDNEYcon- a yearly hands-on conference dedicated to advances in nephrology held in Little Rock, AR each April. Listen to the Freely Filtered Podcast.