Associate Professor of Medicine
Nephrology and Hypertension

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Professional Bio

Kelly A. Birdwell, MD, MSCI, is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Birdwell’s focus is on improving the health of kidney transplant recipients.

After completing an internal medicine residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a nephrology fellowship at VUMC, she became fascinated with kidney transplantation, an intervention that improves both quality of life and survival in patients with end-stage kidney disease. She pursued advanced training in patient-oriented research by completing the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MCSI) Program and completed an additional fellowship in Kidney-Pancreas Transplantation. During her training, she came to understand that short-term outcomes are more limited, including patient survival.

With the number one cause of death in kidney transplant recipients related to cardiovascular complications, she studies the metabolic derangements that occur after kidney transplantation that contribute to cardiovascular disease in this population. She is particularly interested in how immunosuppression medications, essential to preventing rejection of the kidney transplant, as well as variation in genes, contribute to development of post-transplant complications.


MD - Emory Univ - 2001
Internship - Med - Univ of Colorado - 2004
MSCI - Vanderbilt - 2008
Fellowship - Clinical - NP - Vanderbilt - 2008
Fellowship - Kidney-Pancreas Transplant Ctr - Vanderbilt - 2009