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College of
Health Sciences

Lakshna Sankar, MD

Dr. Sankar is originally from Puducherry, India. She is a graduate of Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Canton Medical Education Foundation, Canton, Ohio.

Dr. Sankar chose Geisinger’s Nephrology Fellowship program because, “I was interested in a community-based clinical nephrology with excellent training and learning opportunities, and Geisinger is one of the largest healthcare providers in central Pennsylvania. I was seeking to be part of a diverse team, looking for clinical research opportunities and to live close to my family. Geisinger was a great fit for me based on the above. Great camaraderie here.”

Dr. Sankar’s clinical interests include glomerular diseases, home dialysis, renal genetics and electrolytes. When she is not practicing medicine, she enjoys quilling, pencil sketching and Tanjore glass painting.

Waleed Zafar, MD

Dr. Zafar is originally from Lahore, Pakistan. He is a graduate of King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan, and he completed his residency at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa. Dr. Zafar chose Geisinger for fellowship training because, “…it combines the rigor and exposure of a large medical center with the close connection with colleagues and patients that comes from working in a small rural community. Geisinger offers excellent research opportunities. I really appreciated the dedicated and personalized mentorship that I received during my fellowship training.”

Dr. Zafar’s clinical interests include chronic kidney disease, health disparities, cost effectiveness, health policy and hospital medicine.

In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, visiting museums and reading.

Notable fellow publications

1. Apple B, Sartori G, Moore B, Chintam K, Singh G, Anand PM, Strande NT, Mirshahi T, Triffo W, Chang AR. Individuals heterozygous for ALG8 protein-truncating variants are at increased risk of a mild cystic kidney disease. Kidney Int 103(3): 607-615, 2023

2. Chang AR, Moore BS, Luo JZ, Sartori G, Fang B, Jacobs S, Abdalla Y, Taher M, Carey DJ, Triffo WJ, Singh G, Mirshahi T. Exome sequencing of a clinical population for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Jama 328(24): 2412-2421, 2022

3. Singh G, Hu Y, Jacobs S, Brown J, George J, Bermudez M, Ho K, Green JA, Kirchner HL, Chang AR. Post-discharge mortality and rehospitalization among participants in a comprehensive acute kidney injury rehabilitation program. Kidney360 2(9): 1424-1433, 2021

4. Chintam K, & Chang AR. Strategies to treat obesity in patients with CKD. Am J Kidney Dis 77(3): 427-439, 2021

5. Leddy J, Green JA, Yule C, Molecavage J, Coresh J, Chang AR. Improving proteinuria screening with mailed smartphone urinalysis testing in previously unscreened patients with hypertension: A randomized controlled trial. BMC Nephrol 20(1): 132, 2019

6. Zhang Y, Zafar W, Hartzel DN, Williams MS, Tin A, Chang AR, Lee MTM. GSTM1 copy number is not associated with risk of kidney failure in a large cohort. Front Genet 10: 765, 2019

7. Chang AR, Sang Y, Leddy J, Yahya T, Kirchner HL, Inker LA, Matsushita K, Ballew SH, Coresh J, Grams ME. Antihypertensive medications, and the prevalence of hyperkalemia in a large health system. Hypertension 67(6): 1181-1188, 2016

8. Perkins RM, Kirchner HL, Hartle JE, Bucaloiu ID. Estimated glomerular filtration rate variability and risk of end-stage renal disease among patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease. Clin Nephrol 80(4): 256-262, 2013

9. Perkins RM, Tang X, Bengier AC, Kirchner HL, Bucaloiu ID. Variability in estimated glomerular filtration rate is an independent risk factor for death among patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease. Kidney Int 82(12): 1332-1338, 2012

10. Hartle JE, Tang X, Kirchner HL, Bucaloiu ID, Sartorius JA, Pogrebnaya ZV, Akers GA, Carnero GE, Perkins RM. Bisphosphonate therapy, death, and cardiovascular events among female patients with CKD: A retrospective cohort study. Am J Kidney Dis 59(5): 636-644, 2012

11. Bucaloiu ID, Kirchner HL, Norfolk ER, Hartle JE, Perkins RM. Increased risk of death and de novo chronic kidney disease following reversible acute kidney injury. Kidney Int 81(5): 477-485, 2012

12. Perkins RM, Bucaloiu ID, Kirchner HL, Ashouian N, Hartle JE, Yahya T. GFR decline and mortality risk among patients with chronic kidney disease. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 6(8): 1879-1886, 2011

13. Puher SL, Bucaloiu ID, Perkins RM. Early nephrologic consultation after acute kidney injury. Am J Kidney Dis 58(1): 154-155; author reply 155, 2011

14. Bucaloiu ID, Wood GC, Norfolk ER, Still CD, Hartle JE, Perkins RM. Fat-free weight prediction in morbidly obese females. Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis 4: 149-155, 2011

15. Bucaloiu ID, Perkins RM, DiFilippo W, Yahya T, Norfolk E. Acute kidney injury in the critically ill, morbidly obese patient: Diagnostic and therapeutic challenges in a unique patient population. Crit Care Clin 26(4): 607-624, 2010

16. Nepal M, Bucaloiu ID, Norfolk ER. Hypernatremia in a patient treated with sodium polystyrene sulfonate. Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis 3: 141-143, 2010

17. Padigala KK, Hartle JE, Kirchner HL, Schultz MF. Renal cortical thickness as a predictor of renal function and blood pressure status post renal artery stenting. Angiology 60(6): 719-724, 2010

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