Despite Dr. Moshe Levis 50-page CV documenting his achievements in the field of nephrology, his humility reduces the voluminous bundle into a few well-chosen, passionate paragraphs.
Levi, casually dressed and sporting a kippah, has a friendly, candid and accessible demeanor. He quickly translates technical medical jargon into plain English the moment he catches a confused look.
The head of nephrology research at the UCD Anschutz Medical Campus, Levi supervises a large team investigating the role of phosphorous metabolism, Type I and II diabetes and aging in kidney disease.
I spend 30% of my time with patients and 70% doing research, says the 63-year-old, who gravitated toward nephrology while working on a collaborative project modeling kidney function in college.
When he entered Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1974, he already was fluent in nephrology. I could relate to the subject, he says. Now that diabetes affects millions of Americans, including an accelerating number of children, it was a prescient choice.
Diabetes, which can lead to renal complications, dialysis and death, is often misconstrued, Levi says. While obesity is a major contributor to diabetes epidemic spike, he cautions that the disease evades a simplistic A equals B formula.
We are dealing with a variety of factors that we dont understand at this point, he explains. Its like a New York subway map. You cant just hit one of the stops. There are many stops along the way you have to hit.
Aware that finding a cure is the great societal hope, Levi says hell be happy if we find more effective, non-invasive treatments that will not harm or adversely affect the patient.
We are making progress in diabetes-related nephrology through blood pressure and lipid control. But thats not a cure. If we can make a dent, thats fine. Kidney disease is not something you want.