Get to Know: Nephrologists Karen Warburton, MD, and Alden Doyle, MD

At a Glance

Karen Warburton, MD, Associate Professor of Nephrology

  • Specialty: Kidney and pancreas transplantation
  • Fellowships: Kidney and pancreas transplantation, University of Pennsylvania / Nephrology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Residency: Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Medical Degree: University of North Carolina

Alden Doyle, MD, Professor of Nephrology

  • Specialty: Kidney and pancreas transplantation
  • Fellowship: Nephrology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Residency: Internal Medicine, University of Texas at Southwestern
  • Advanced Degrees: Master of Science in Immunology, University of Pennsylvania / Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University
  • Medical Degree: Tulane Medical School

This fall, the UVA Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program added two transplant nephrologists to its team. Spouses Karen Warburton, MD, and Alden Doyle, MD, increase the size of the program by 50 percent.

Warburton, whose specialization includes living donor kidney transplants, joined UVA from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, she serves as director of UVA Graduate Medical Education Professional Development.

Doyle was the medical director of kidney and pancreas transplantation at Drexel University and now serves in that capacity at UVA. He specializes in combined and sequential transplantation, as well as patients who develop kidney disease following bone marrow, lung, heart and other nonrenal organ transplants. In addition, Doyle is interested in transitions in care, for example, when pediatric transplant patients mature into adulthood.

Why did you decide to come to UVA?

Warburton: We were aware of the pioneering work that UVA is doing in transplantation. UVA is recognized by members of the United Network for Organ Sharing for advances in using donor organs more efficiently. One answer to the organ shortage is to encourage more people to donate. UVA has been at the forefront of making the best use of the organs it receives.

Doyle: From an institutional point of view, this was also a great time to join UVA. UVA is in the midst of consolidating and energizing its solid organ transplant programs under the auspices of a single center. UVA has set its sight on becoming one of the leading transplant programs in the country and has allocated the resources to realize that vision. We wanted to be part of that.

Patients and their families often have to travel great distances for transplantation in Virginia. How will you relieve that burden?

Doyle: As the medical director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, I’ve been going out and meeting with nephrologists around the state. Our goal is to establish a series of five or six satellite clinics where we could see people. We have established a relationship with a clinic in Roanoke, and we are looking to create similar relationships in places like Lynchburg and Winchester as well as in Haymarket through the UVA Health System partnership with Novant Health.

Warburton: As a group, we are also working on strengthening communications with referring physicians, both to improve patient care and to inform them of developments here as our center grows. Given the geographic reality of the state, close communication is essential.

Dr. Warburton, you are also involved in graduate medical education. What do you hope to accomplish here?

Warburton: While at Penn, I became interested in working with learners who were struggling with clinical performance. My colleagues and I developed a program based on a coaching model that had a great deal of success locally and attracted national attention. I would like to launch a similar program at UVA. Everyone wins when graduate learners are successful.

Dr. Doyle, how do you see the future of transplantation?

Doyle: The things we can do today are amazing, but I believe we are on the verge of the next great leap forward, thanks to the revolution in genomics and proteomics. For instance, in lung transplantation we are looking at tissue samples and trying to determine the genes that govern a person’s acceptance or rejection of a new organ. This type of investigation will lead to new procedures and more successful outcomes.

Hear Dr. Doyle discuss kidney health in a recent video featured on NBC29.

To refer a patient to a UVA nephrologist, call UVA Physician Direct at 800.552.3723.