Katherine Twombley, MD
Medical University of South Carolina
Medical Director of Pediatric Kidney Transplantation, Chief of Pediatric Nephrology, Medical University of South Carolina
My main area of interest is antibody mediated kidney transplant injury. I am the PI for a multicenter study called PARAMOUr “PediAtric Renal AMr Outcomes,” where we are looking retrospectively at children who have been diagnosed and treated for AMR. There is no consensus on how to treat AMR and even how or when to monitor outcomes once treated. Our goal is to examine patients treated for AMR with various different protocols and look at various outcomes (DSA, eGFR, infections, biopsy findings, etc.) in an attempt to better understand what factors should be examined more closely in a prospective manner.
What made you decide to work in transplantation?:
I became interested in transplantation when I found out my then soon to be father-in-law was on his second kidney transplant and I learned the odds of him getting a third were very small. My goal as a naïve eager fellow was simple; I wanted to improve the longevity of a kidney transplant or at least make it easier to get re-transplanted. While I, as well as many others, continue to work toward that goal, I have stayed with kidney transplantation because I love it. I get up every morning and I am so grateful to have found a profession that I not only like, but that I truly love.
What do you find to be the most valuable aspect of your work?:
I really enjoy being challenged every single day of my career. Whether it is being faced with a complex patient or striving to find the answers to my research questions, one thing is for sure; I am never bored!
I took three years off between college and medical school to “find myself.” I learned lots of real life skills from each job during that time. I was a high school science and math teacher (taught me patience), waitress (taught me customer satisfaction skills), in-home-healthcare-provider (taught me to understand the whole family, not just the patient), nanny (helped me remember that I love to play with kids), tutor (improved my teaching skills) and emergency medical technician (I can now back any vehicle into any parking spot no matter how small)!! At night, I would occasionally sing in local bars (helped with my public speaking and work life balance skills)! Last fun fact is that my husband has a GOLD Olympic medal in Taekwondo from the 1991 All-Africa Games representing Egypt. So Cool!!!!