Professor of Medicine
Nephrology and Hypertension

Professor of Medicine

Professional Bio

J. Harold Helderman, MD, is a Professor of Medicine, Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Helderman’s specialty for over 40 years is kidney transplantation. He maintains an outpatient transplant clinic and a pre-transplant evaluation clinic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is also the medical director of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center and the Chief Renal Transplant Medicine (emeritus). He regularly cares for patients with complex renal transplant problems.

His clinical research interests involve the development of new immunosuppressive strategies, the pathogenesis and treatment of chronic rejection, the pathogenesis and management of medical complications of transplantation including infection, neoplasia, and metabolic disorders including diabetes and bone disease and cardiac disease. Other research interests include the basic investigation into the regulation and description of lymphocyte activation pathways with particular reference to growth factor and cytokine receptors on T-lymphocytes. He has been a member of the Vanderbilt team studying the use of hepatitis C positive kidney donors in to naïve recipients.

Dr. Helderman was one of the first presidents of the Kidney Transplant Society (currently the American Society of Transplantation), served on the national board of the United Network of Organ Sharing and was the President of the North American Society for Dialysis and Transplantation. He is also associate editor for the American Journal of Kidney Disease and is on the editorial board of multiple kidney and transplantation journals. He was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Transplantation (FAST) to add to his Fellowship of the College of Physicians (FACP).

Dr. Helderman has been named “Top Doc” for more than 15 consecutive years and has been named one of Nashville’s Top Nephrologists for more than 10 years. He was given the Silver Plate Award by the Hungarian Government for service to the state. Most importantly, he received the Life-Time Achievement Award of the American Society of Transplantation at the World Transplant Congress.


MD - State University of NY - 1971
Internship - Medicine - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine - 1972
Residency - Medicine - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine - 1973
Fellowship - Medicine - Brigham & Women's Hospital - 1977
Fellowship - Renal Medicine - Harvard Medical School - 1977