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Mareena                        Zachariah

Mareena Zachariah MD

Department of Medicine

Clinical Assistant Professor

Specialty/Research Focus


Professional Summary:

I have a broad background in renal medicine with expertise in kidney and pancreas transplantation. I am a transplant physician with UBMD Nephrology and the medical director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC). As a transplant specialist, I care for patients with a history of end-stage kidney disease throughout the transplant experience and my daily activity involves the gamut of the transplantation process: I evaluate and select patients who are ready to undergo kidney and pancreas transplantation, I supervise the care of patients during the posttransplant period and I follow these patients in our longitudinal clinic by providing medical and immunological care to them throughout the lifetime of their transplants. I collaborate with ECMC’s transplant administration to ensure that our transplant patients receive the best possible care. I also review quality outcomes metrics and measures to monitor our program’s progress, and I supervise modifications to our care protocols whenever they are needed. I have a keen interest in promoting living donation at ECMC and am working to establish a robust kidney paired donor (KPD) program so that more live-donor, life-saving transplants can be performed in Western New York.

My research interests are in outcomes research in kidney-pancreas transplantation, e.g., immunotherapy minimization after kidney and pancreas transplantation and the role of various induction protocols in kidney-pancreas transplantation. I have several ongoing research projects that include fellows from the divisions of Internal Medicine and Nephrology.

As a university faculty member and clinical educator for the UBMD transplant team, I conduct bedside teaching and give didactic lectures on key topics in renal and transplant medicine. I believe that a good teacher recognizes differing learning styles and flexes to the strengths of the student in order to teach effectively. As a mentor for the clinical research rotations, I encourage residents to approach their research by asking a simple question that is relevant to the specific demographics of our transplant recipients. I then mentor residents as they write protocols for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and collect, test, analyze and interpret their data. In this way, I encourage trainees to extend and apply clinical research to improving outcomes for our patients.

I also am involved in developing the renal fellows transplant lecture series and establishing the teaching curriculum for our transplant medicine fellowship program. I train and mentor transplant physicians and nurse practitioners to take leadership positions across the nation in the field of transplant nephrology.

Education and Training:
  • Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine and Public Health (2007)
  • Fellowship, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine (2006)
  • Postdoctoral Research in Diabetic Nephropathy, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine (2004)
  • Residency, St. Francis Medical Center, Pittsburgh (2002)
  • Internship, Keycol, Medway and Prince Philip Hospitals (1996)
  • MBBS, Kasturba Medical College (1992)
  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Nephrology, University at Buffalo (2008-present)
  • Medical Director, Transplant Program, Erie County Medical Center (2015–2016)
  • Medical Director, Pancreas Transplant Program, Erie County Medical Center (2008–2012)
  • Associate Medical Director, Renal Transplant Program, Erie County Medical Center (2008–2012)
  • Assistant Professor, University of Florida, Division of Nephrology, Hypertension and Renal Transplantation (2007–2008)
Awards and Honors:
  • Annual Resident Research Award, Case Presentation (2001)

Research Expertise:
  • Immunotherapy in renal transplant recipients
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • Evaluation of the Benefits and Risks in Maintenance Renal Transplant Recipients Following Conversion to Nulojix (belatacept)-based Immunosuppression
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • An Observational, Non-Interventioanl, Multi-Center, Multi-National Study of Patients with Atypical Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome
    aHUS Registry
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • Cognitive Outcomes and Quality of Life in Stable Renal Transplant Patients Switched from Prograf to Envarsus XR (4002)
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • TRANSFORM: A 24 month, multicenter, randomized, open-label safety and efficacy study of concentration-comtrolled everolimus with reduced calcineurin inhibitor vs myucophenolate with standard calcineurin inhibitor in de novo renal transplantation- Advanci
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • Prospective Observational Trial to Evaluate the Correlation of T-SPOT response to CMV disease and T cell mediated acute graft rejection (PROTECT)
    Oxford Immunotec
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 2 Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of a Vaccine, ASP0113, in Cytomegalovirus (CMV)- Seronegative Kidney Transplant Recipients Receiving an Organ from a CMV -seropositive Donor.
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • A Randomized, Double-Blind, Multicenter, Phase 3 Study of the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of 28 weeks of Brincidorovir versus Valganciclovier for the Prevention of Cytomegalovirus Disease in High-Risk Kidney Allograft Recipients
    Role: Co-Investigator

Journal Articles:

Professional Memberships:
  • American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Member (2013–present)
  • American Society of Nephrology, Member (2007–present)
  • American Society of Transplantation (2007–present)
  • "Pancreatic Tranplantation-Current Practices and Trends" Grand Rounds, School of Medicine, University of Massacusetts (2014)
  • "Alemtuzumab Induction in Simultaneous Pancreas and Kidney Transplantation" American Transplant Congress (2013)
  • "Outcomes and Survival Analysis of Old-to-Old Simultaneous Pancreas and Kidney Transplantation" American Transplant Congress (2013)
  • "Post-Transplant Complication Immediate and Long Term" Grand Rounds, Erie County Medical Center (2012)
  • "Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Renal Allograft Recipients-Experience in a University Based Transplant Clinic" American Transplant Congress (2011)
  • "Anti-Lymphocyte Antibody Agent as a Risk Factor for CMV Infection in the Current Era of Immunosuppression" American Transplant Congress (2007)
Service Activities:
  • Women's Health Community of Practice Committee, American Society of Transplantation (2013–present)

School News:
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Contact Information

Erie County Medical Center
462 Grider Street
Buffalo, NY 14215
Phone: (716) 898-4803

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