Bethany Kirkpatrick, a second-year medical student in the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) College of Medicine, is joining the global conversation on the latest scientific research regarding chronic kidney disease.

Bethany Kirkpatrick

The American Society of Nephrology selected her abstract, “Cessation of Cigarette Smoking Compared to Continued Smoking Preserves eGFR in Stage 2 Chronic Kidney due to Hypertensive Nephropathy,” for presentation at its Kidney Week 2012 Annual Meeting, Nov. 1-4 in San Diego. More than 13,000 kidney professionals from around the world will exchange knowledge and listen to leading experts in the field.

Before medical school, Kirkpatrick was a clinical research coordinator working primarily on chronic kidney disease research, which motivated her to become a doctor.

“Since I’m only in my second year, I spend most of my time in the classroom, but being involved in kidney research helps me see beyond the classroom,” she said.

Kirkpatrick worked with Donald Wesson, M.D., FASN, vice dean of TAMHSC-College of Medicine in Temple, and colleagues from Scott & White Hospital and Texas Tech University on an experiment comparing the eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate) of smokers, quitters and nonsmokers. Though it was assumed cigarette smoking might worsen eGFR in some nephropathies, it was unclear if cessation preserves eGFR in hypertensive nephropathy. Their research concluded continued smoking compared to nonsmoking worsens eGFR in stage 2 hypertensive nephropathy, but smoking cessation preserves eGFR.

“I am looking forward to discussing the effects of smoking cessation on kidney disease at the ASN conference, but I am also excited to see the other posters and learn more.” Kirkpatrick said.

— Sheila De Guzman