Matthew Sparks, MD, Nephrology, Durham, NC, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center


Nephrology Durham, NC

Hereditary Kidney Disease Genetics, Hypertension, Kidney & Pancreas Transplantation

Assistant Professor of Medicine

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  • My lab is interested in understanding how both the renin angiotensin and prostanoid systems regulate blood pressure by altering blood flow to the kidney. My lab utilizes 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 is funded by a career development award from the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development (IK2BX002240) and a Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association. In my role as Director of Undergraduate Medical 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. I also serve as the Associate Program Director for the Nephrology Fellowship Program.

    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 online nephrology journal club (NephJC). 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 edutainment project NephMadness. Past deputy editor of Renal Fellow Network where I continue to remain an advocate for the site and author the yearly “Top Nephrology Stories of the Year”. 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 and the National Kidney Foundation. I serve as Education Director for KIDNEYcon.

Education & Training

  • Duke University Hospital
    Duke University HospitalFELLOWSHIP
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    University of Arkansas for Medical SciencesCHIEF_RESIDENCY
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    University of Arkansas for Medical SciencesRESIDENCY
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    University of Arkansas for Medical SciencesINTERNSHIP
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine
    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of MedicineMEDICAL_SCHOOL
  • University of ArkansasOTHER_TRAINING

Certifications & Licensure

  • NC State Medical License
    NC State Medical License 2007 - 2021
  • AR State Medical License
    AR State Medical License 2006 - 2021
  • American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology

Awards, Honors, & Recognition

  • Young Physician-Scientist Award American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2017
  • Excellence in Education Award Duke Department of Medicine, 2016
  • High Blood Pressure Research Conference Travel Award for New Investigators American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Council, 2013
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Publications & Presentations


Press Mentions

  • Kidneys and Covid-19: Renal Manifestations of the Novel Coronavirus
    Kidneys and Covid-19: Renal Manifestations of the Novel CoronavirusMay 30, 2020
  • Kidney Complications in COVID-19 Send Hospitals Scrambling
    Kidney Complications in COVID-19 Send Hospitals ScramblingMay 16, 2020
  • #NephMadness 2020: Vaccines Region
    #NephMadness 2020: Vaccines RegionMarch 13, 2020
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Grant Support

  • National VA Career Development Award 2Veterans Affairs Administration2014–2019
  • Mandel Seed GrantEdna and Fred L. Mandel Jr. Foundation2013–2014
  • National Scientist Development GrantAmerican Heart Association2013–2014
  • Gerald Olsen GrantInstitute for Medical Research2011–2013
  • Chairs Research AwardDuke Univeristy Department of Medicine2011–2012
  • Emerging Leaders in Hypertension Fellowship GrantForest Pharmaceuticals2010–2011


  • Committee Member, Amercian Society of Nephrology Media and Communications Committee 2017 - Present
  • Member, Duke Nephrology Fellowship Education Committee 2008 - Present
  • Member, American Society of Nephrology Education Committee 2012 - 2016

Research History

  • Duke University Biomedical Scholar2010 - 2011

Professional Memberships

Hospital Affiliations