The long-term goal of the applicant is to become an independent investigator who designs and executes studies to optimize medication utilization in kidney transplant patients, with the specific goals of reducing racial disparities in graft surviva. Black renal transplant recipients are at significantly higher risk for graft loss following kidney transplant due, in part, to well recognized immunologic hyper-responsiveness, poorer socioeconomic status and more severe comorbid conditions. Much of the previous interventions to reduce disparities in Black recipients have focused on improving access to transplant and reducing immunologic risks;yet the differences in graft survival rates between Black and non-Black kidney transplant patients have not significantly improved. To date, little attention has been directed towards improving CVD risk factor control as a potential approach to reduce racial disparities in kidney transplant. The proposed research plan will seek to test the hypothesis that CVD risk factor control significantly influences racial disparities in kidney transplant outcomes through a two phase study. Phase 1: a large-scale longitudinal cohort study conducted using national datasets (VA, CMS, and USRDS) that critically analyzes the modifying impact of CVD risk factor control on racial disparities among kidney transplants. Phase 2: The C-DRIFT trial (Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Control in Kidney Transplant) is a prospective study to explore the feasibility and potential effectiveness of pharmacist-led patient-level interventions directed at improving CVD risk factor control as a mechanism to reduce racial disparities in kidney transplant recipients. Completing these studies will provide novel and compelling preliminary data, so that by the conclusion of this award, a grant proposal will be submitted to conduct a large-scale randomized controlled trial powered to test the hypothesis that optimizing CVD risk factor control will improve graft survival and racial disparities in kidney transplant patients. Additionally and equally as important, the completion of this grant will provide the applicant invaluable training and mentoring that will allow him to develop the skillset necessary to become an independently funded investigator. The proposed career development plan capitalizes on the rich interdisciplinary collaborative environment, the unique patient population, and the comprehensive didactic coursework available at the Medical University of South Carolina. The primary mentor and co-mentors on this application are highly experienced and well-funded researchers that have expertise in conducting research in racial disparities, kidney transplant and CVD interventional studies. Thus, at the conclusion of this award, novel data regarding the impact of CVD risk factor control on racial disparities in kidney transplant will be produced and disseminated while the applicant develops into a well-trained researcher, capable of conducing relevant patient-oriented research in kidney transplant recipients.

Public Health Relevance

Limited research has been focused on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor management as a mechanism to minimize inequalities in Black kidney transplant recipients. Pharmacist-led patient-level interventions to improve CVD risk factor control are novel and promising methods to improve outcomes in these high-risk patients. The aims of this grant are to better understand the role of CVD risk factor control on racial disparitis in kidney transplantation, explore promising mechanisms to improve CVD risk factor control while developing the applicant into a well-trained patient-oriented researcher.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Digestive Diseases and Nutrition C Subcommittee (DDK)
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Rankin, Tracy L
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Medical University of South Carolina
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Taber, David J; Douglass, Kevin; Srinivas, Titte et al. (2014) Significant racial differences in the key factors associated with early graft loss in kidney transplant recipients. Am J Nephrol 40:19-28