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Rocco                          Venuto

Rocco C. Venuto MD

Department of Medicine


Specialty/Research Focus


Professional Summary:

I have practiced nephrology for over 40 years. During that time I have treated patients with virtually every aspect of kidney disease. I have directed dialysis and transplant programs as well.

For many years, I pursued laboratory research into the mechanisms underlying hypertension and renal disease during pregnancy. Consequently, I developed a special interest in kidney-related complications in pregnancy such as preeclampsia, a particular form of hypertension in pregnant women.

I have worked in collaboration with other members of the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) transplant team and researchers from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to pursue clinical research in transplant recipients. The results of these interdisciplinary studies have helped us develop expertise in the use and complications of medications used in transplant immunosuppression regimens. In research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the University at Buffalo and various pharmaceutical companies, we have helped define the differences that exist between male and female, and between white and black patients in regard to the metabolism of kidney medications. The differences we have defined benefit our patients: we can identify the best treatment protocol for each individual patient we care for.

In recent years, we have been involved in a research project on the use of the only medication that appears to specifically benefit patients with polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Indeed, we have become one of the largest loci in the United States for these studies. This research, along with the many patients with PKD that we have cared for, has helped us become more astute in the medical management of patients and has allowed us to render cutting-edge care to them.

We are also developing special programs for patients coping with any form of chronic kidney disease (CKD). A large project funded by New York State and developed in conjunction with UB’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics (IHI) has aided our understanding of how CKD patients in Western New York are treated. The large database of the IHI has made it possible for us to identify areas where new programs can be focused, resulting in improved care for CKD patients. This dynamic interaction between clinical research and patient care is the model I strive for as an academic physician because it results in the best possible care options for my patients.

Education and Training:
  • Fellowship, University at Buffalo (1978)
  • Fellowship, Ohio State University (1974)
  • Fellowship, Ohio State University (1971)
  • Residency, University at Buffalo (1970)
  • Residency, University at Buffalo (1970)
  • Internship, University at Buffalo (1968)
  • MD, University at Buffalo (1967)
  • BS, Niagara University (1963)
  • Associate Medical Director, Transplant Services, Erie County Medical Center (2015-present)
  • Medical Director, CKD Program, Chronic Kidney Disease Program, Erie County Medical Center (2013-present)
  • Professor of Medicine, University at Buffalo (1986-present)
  • Attending, Internal Medicine & Nephrology, Erie County Medical Center (1974-present)
  • Medical Director, Renal and Transplant Services, Renal and Transplant Services, Erie County Medical Center (1980–2013)
  • Director, Clinical Nephrology and Dialysis Program, Erie County Medical Center (1980–1986)
  • Associate Professor of Medicine, University at Buffalo (1980–1986)
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, University at Buffalo (1978–1980)
  • Director, Dialysis Program, Erie County Medical Center (1978–1980)
  • Research Assistant Professor of Medicine, University at Buffalo (1975–1978)
  • Director, Nephrology Teaching Program, Buffalo General Medical Center (1974–1978)
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Buffalo (1974–1975)
  • Consultant, Renal Disease and Hypertension, Martin General Hospital (1971–1973)
See all (3 more)
Awards and Honors:
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Upstate New York Transplant Services (2011)
  • Gift of Life Award, Western New York Kidney Foundation (1999)
  • Diversity of Spirituality Award, Pastoral Care, Erie County Medical Center (1999)
  • Recognition Award for Dedicated Service, Medical Board - UNYTS (1987-1999) (1999)
  • Honoree, Springfest Lifeline, Erie County Medical Center (1994)
  • Fellow, Bertha H and Henry C Buswell Foundation (1975)
  • Magna Cum Laude, Niagara University (1963)

Research Expertise:
  • New treatment modalities for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease
  • Pharmacotherapy in renal transplant recipients
  • Pregnancy-related renal diseases
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • December 2011–December 2014
    A Multi-center Longitudinal, Observational Study of Patients with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) to Establish the Rate, Characteristics and Determinants of Disease Progression
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • June 2011–September 2012
    The Influence of Diabetes on Myfortic (enteric coated Mycophenolic Acid Sodium) Pharmacokinetics and Adverse Drug Effects in Stable African American and Causcasian Renal Transplant Recipients
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • November 2007–December 2011
    Mycophenolic acid Observational Renal Transplant Program: A phase IV, non-interventional, multi-center, open-label, prospective, observational study of the safety, effectiveness, tolerability and compliance of immunosuppressive regimens using mycophenol
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • September 2009–September 2011
    Genomic and Cellular Markers and Chronic Renal Allograft Function
    National Institute of Health: Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • April 2015
    Influence of Race, Sex and ABCB1 Halotypes on Tacrolimus (Prograf) Pharmacokinetics and Adverse Effects in Stable Renal Transplant Recipients
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • February 2015
    A Phase 3b, Multi-center, Randomized-withdrawal, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind, Parallel-group trial to Compare the Efficacy and Safety of Tolvaptan (45 to 120mg/day, Split-dose) in Subjects with Chronic Kidney Disease between Late Stage 2 to Early St
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • February 2015
    A Phase 3b. Multi-Center, Open-label Trial to Evaluate the Long Term Safety of Titrated Immediate-release Tolvaptan (OPC 41061, 30 mg to 120 mg/day, Split dose) in Subjects with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • December 2010
    A Multi-Center, Open-label, Extension Study to Evaluate the Long-term Efficacy and Safety of Oral Tolvaptan Tablet Regimens in Subjects with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD)
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • United States Patent - Method of Inhibiting Clot Formation

Journal Articles:
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Evaluative Studies and Case Reports:
See all (4 more)

Professional Memberships:
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Society of Nephrology
  • International Society of Nephrology
  • American Physiological Society
  • American Federation for Clinical Research
  • American Heart Association
  • Central Society for Clinical Research
  • International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy
  • Renal Physicians Association
  • Western New York Kidney Foundation
  • American Society of Transplantation
  • Association of Subspecialty Professors
  • Women's Health Communication of Practice Committee, American Society of Transplantation
See all (3 more)
Service Activities:
  • Northeastern Kidney Foundation (2013–present)
  • Member, Organ Advisory committee, UNYTS (1990–present)
  • Lupus Foundation (1984–present)
  • Western New York Kidney Foundation, Board of Directors (1981–1997)

School News:
In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:
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Insurance Accepted:

Contact Information

Erie County Medical Center
462 Grider Street
Buffalo, NY 14215
Phone: (716) 898-4803
Fax: (716) 898-3928

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