Vanessa Grubbs, MD

Assoc Adj Professor

Nephrology, Center for Vulnerable Populations, General Internal Medicine ZSFG

College: Duke University, BA
Medical School: Duke University School of Medicine, MD
Internal Medicine Residency: Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, CA
Nephrology Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco
Other graduate training: University of California, Berkeley, MPH

Dr. Vanessa Grubbs is an Associate Professor in the Division of Nephrology at UCSF and has maintained a clinical practice and research program at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital since 2009. Her research focuses on palliative care for patients with end-stage kidney disease. She is among the 2017 cohort for the Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program, an initiative designed to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders; and the 2018 California Health Care Foundation’s Health Care Leadership Program.

Her clinical and research work fuel her passion for creative writing. Her first book, HUNDREDS OF INTERLACED FINGERS: A Kidney Doctor’s Search for the Perfect Match, was released June 2017 from Harper Collins Publishers, Amistad division and is now in paperback. Dr. Abraham Verghese, best-selling author and physician, described the book as a "gripping, heartfelt memoir ... a deeply insightful look at health care in America as experienced by doctor and patient.” Dr. Grubbs is currently working on a novel.

Clinical Fellowship, - Nephrology, University of California, San Francisco
Honors and Awards
  • K23 Career Development Award, NIH-NIDDK, 2012-2017
  • Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012-2016
  1. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion That Matter.
  2. Precision in GFR Reporting: Let's Stop Playing the Race Card.
  3. Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy in CKD: Findings of the Kidney and Periodontal Disease (KAPD) Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.
  4. Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy in CKD: Findings of the Kidney and Periodontal Disease (KAPD) Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.
  5. Another Example of Race Disparities in the US Healthcare System.
  6. Dialysis or Death: A Qualitative Study of Older Patients' and Their Families' Understanding of Kidney Failure Treatment Options in a US Public Hospital Setting.
  7. Dialysis or Death: A Qualitative Study of Older Patients’ and Their Families’ Understanding of Kidney Failure Treatment Options in a US Public Hospital Setting.
  8. Medicare Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Bills-Can We Afford Them?
  9. Family Involvement in Decisions to Forego or Withdraw Dialysis: A Qualitative Study of Nephrologists in the United States and England.
  10. Family Involvement in Decisions to Forego or Withdraw Dialysis: A Qualitative Study of Nephrologists in the United States and England.
  11. A Conceptual Framework of Palliative Care across the Continuum of Advanced Kidney Disease.
  12. Meeting the Palliative Care Needs of Maintenance Hemodialysis Patients: Beyond the Math.
  13. ESRD and Hospice Care in the United States: Are Dialysis Patients Welcome?
  14. Time to Recast Our Approach for Older Patients With ESRD: The Best, the Worst, and the Most Likely.
  15. Association of Emergency-Only vs Standard Hemodialysis With Mortality and Health Care Use Among Undocumented Immigrants With End-stage Renal Disease.
  16. Hospitalizations and Nursing Facility Stays During the Transition from CKD to ESRD on Dialysis: An Observational Study.
  17. Characteristics and Outcomes of In-Hospital Palliative Care Consultation among Patients with Renal Disease Versus Other Serious Illnesses.
  18. Understanding Trends in Kidney Function 1 Year after Kidney Transplant in the United States.
  19. System-Level Barriers and Facilitators for Foregoing or Withdrawing Dialysis: A Qualitative Study of Nephrologists in the United States and England.
  20. The Kidney and Periodontal Disease (KAPD) study: A pilot randomized controlled trial testing the effect of non-surgical periodontal therapy on chronic kidney disease.
  21. Mortality and illicit drug dependence among hemodialysis patients in the United States: a retrospective cohort analysis.
  22. The association of periodontal disease with kidney function decline: a longitudinal retrospective analysis of the MrOS dental study.
  23. Potential Impact of Prescribing Metformin According to eGFR Rather Than Serum Creatinine.
  24. Periodontal Disease and CKD-Associated Morbidity: Is There Now Enough Evidence to Move From Observation to Intervention?
  25. Association Between Periodontal Disease and Kidney Function Decline in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study.
  26. Specialist and primary care physicians' views on barriers to adequate preparation of patients for renal replacement therapy: a qualitative study.
  27. Chronic kidney disease care in the US safety net.
  28. A palliative approach to dialysis care: a patient-centered transition to the end of life.
  29. Undocumented immigrants and kidney transplant: costs and controversy.
  30. Effect of food insecurity on chronic kidney disease in lower-income Americans.
  31. Body mass index and early kidney function decline in young adults: a longitudinal analysis of the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study.
  32. Health status as a potential mediator of the association between hemodialysis vascular access and mortality.
  33. Estimated kidney function based on serum cystatin C and risk of subsequent coronary artery calcium in young and middle-aged adults with preserved kidney function: results from the CARDIA study.
  34. Americans' use of dietary supplements that are potentially harmful in CKD.
  35. Chronic kidney disease identification in a high-risk urban population: does automated eGFR reporting make a difference?
  36. Medicare immunosuppressant coverage and access to kidney transplantation: a retrospective national cohort study.
  37. Chronic kidney disease and use of dental services in a United States public healthcare system: a retrospective cohort study.
  38. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use among persons with chronic kidney disease in the United States.
  39. 105 Medicare Immunosuppressant Coverage and Access to Kidney Transplantation.
  40. 106 Missed Opportunity? —Dental Visits by Chronic Kidney Disease Status in Underserved Patients.
  41. 248 Prevalence of Diagnosed Risk Factors in Underserved Patients Without Creatinine Measurements is High.
  42. 329 Limited English Proficiency and Acute Health Care Utilization Among Patients With CKD.
  43. Vulnerable populations and the association between periodontal and chronic kidney disease.
  44. Health literacy and access to kidney transplantation.
  45. Acute myocardial infarction length of stay and hospital mortality are not associated with language preference.
  46. Good for harvest, bad for planting.
  47. Effect of awareness of language law on language access in the health care setting.