Ali Gharavi, MD

  • Professor of Medicine
  • Chief, Division of Nephrology

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Ali Gharavi, MD

Dr. Ali Gharavi, a leading kidney disease researcher, is chief of the division of nephrology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Gharavi, also an associate professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of its renal physiology and pathophysiology course, joined NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia in 2003.

“My objective is to bring personalized genomic nephrology from the laboratory into patient care,” says Dr. Gharavi. “Owing to the recent progress in genomic technologies, we now have the opportunity to make a precise genetic diagnosis for many patients and individualize care based on the specific molecular mechanism of disease.” The principal investigator on four current projects funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health and the New York State Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program, Dr. Gharavi has specific interests in the genetics of kidney disease, including IgA nephropathy and congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract. IgA nephropathy is a kidney disorder that occurs when IgA—an antibody that helps the body fight infections—settles in the kidneys, which can cause the kidneys to leak blood and sometimes protein in the urine. It can eventually lead to kidney failure.

Dr. Gharavi’s work has identified multiple regions of the genome that confer risk of IgA nephropathy and has yielded novel insight into the mechanisms of kidney injury underlying the condition. His other research includes the genetic causes of congenital abnormalities of the kidney and the urinary tract, the most common cause of kidney failure in children, for which he has described several new genetic mutations. Dr. Gharavi is a member of the American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology, and American Society of Human Genetics. He is the author of 63 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals including Nature, Nature Genetics and the New England Journal of Medicine, sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and Kidney International, and has been a guest editor of PLoS Genetics. He was a recipient of the Judson Daland Prize for Outstanding Clinical Investigation from the American Philosophical Society and the National Kidney Foundation Clinical Scientist Award and was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation.

After receiving his medical degree from George Washington University, Dr. Gharavi completed his residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center and fellowships in hypertension and nephrology, also at Mount Sinai. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in genetics at Yale University School of Medicine. He previously held academic appointments at Yale University School of Medicine and Mount Sinai School of Medicine and hospital appointments at Mount Sinai Hospital.

My research is focused on the molecular genetics of kidney diseases, particularly glomerular and developmental disorders. The long term objective is to identify specific genes and dysregulated pathways underlying kidney disorders in order to facilitate the development of new diagnostic tools and rational therapies. Learn more at the Gharavi Lab Web site.

My objective is to bring personalized genomic nephrology from the laboratory into patient care.

Board Certifications

  • Nephrology

Areas of Expertise

  • Chronic Glomerular Diseases

Education & Training

  • George Washington University School of Medicine
  • Residency: Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Fellowship: Mount Sinai Medical Center


  • Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion

    1150 St. Nicholas Avenue
    New York, NY 10032
    (212) 305-3273
    For new and current patient appointments, call:
    (212) 305-3273
    (212) 305-4981

Provider Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

Insurance Programs

Please contact the provider's office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

  • Aetna [EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, NY Signature, NYP Employee Plan, POS, PPO, Signature Administrators, Student Health]
  • Affinity [Essential Plan, Medicaid Managed Care]
  • Amida Care [Special Needs Plan]
  • Cigna [EPO, Great West, HMO, POS, PPO]
  • Emblem/GHI [Medicare Managed Care, PPO]
  • Emblem/HIP [ConnectiCare, EPO, Essential Plan, HMO, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO, Select Care (Exchange), Vytra]
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield [Blue Access (Exchange), EPO, Gatekeeper (Exchange), HMO, Medicare Managed Care, Pathway (Exchange), POS, PPO]
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus [Child/Family Health Plus, Essential Plan, Medicaid Managed Care]
  • Fidelis Care [Child/Family Health Plus, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care]
  • Healthfirst [Child/Family Health Plus, Leaf (Exchange), Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care]
  • Local 1199 [Local 1199]
  • MagnaCare [MagnaCare]
  • Medicare [Traditional Medicare (NY)]
  • Multiplan [Multiplan]
  • MVP Health Care [Child/Family Health Plus, Essential Plan, HMO, Medicaid Managed Care]
  • Oxford Health Plans [Freedom, Liberty, Medicare Managed Care]
  • UnitedHealthcare [Columbia University Employee Plan, Compass (Exchange), HMO, Medicaid (Community Plan), Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO, The Empire Plan (NYSHIP)]
  • VNSNY CHOICE [Medicare Managed Care, SelectHealth, Special Needs Plan]
  • WellCare [Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care]

Past Positions

  • 1999-2002: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
  • 2003-2010: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY
  • 2012-2014: Associate Director, Division of Nephrology, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY

Honors & Awards

  • 1997 First Prize Fellow research award, New York /New Jersey National Kidney Foundation
  • 1997 Recognition Award for Young Physicians, American Society of Hypertension
  • 2000 Young Investigator Award, Emerald Foundation
  • 2003 Irving Clinical Scholar Award, Columbia University
  • 2004 Judson Daland Prize for Outstanding Clinical Investigation, American Philosophical Society
  • 2005 National Kidney Foundation Clinical Scientist Award
  • 2006 Zambetti fellowship, Columbia University 2009 Ewig Clinical Education Award, Columbia University
  • 2010 American Society of Clinical Investigation

Research Interests

  • Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urogenital tract
  • IgA Nephropathy
  • Glomerulosclerosis

Lab Projects

  • Congenital Abnormalities of the Kidney and the Urinary Tract (CAKUT)

    Congenital anomalies are the most common cause of kidney failure in children. We found that familial forms of disease are underrecognized because many congenital defects are asymptomatic and can only be identified by systematic screening. We identified susceptibility loci on chromosomes 1, 10 and 12 and are now applying exome sequencing and high density genotyping methodologies to identify rare point mutations and genomic structural variants predisposing to CAKUT.

  • IgA nephropathy (IgAN)

    IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is the most common form of glomerulonephritis. IgAN patients exhibit characteristic circulating immune complexes that are enriched for abnormally glycosylated galactose deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1). Gd-IgA1 levels constitute a heritable risk factor for IgAN. In addition, we have identified specific genes and loci underlying familial and sporadic forms of IgAN. We are now validating measurement of Gd-IgA1 levels as a non-invasive screening tool for IgAN, and studying the function of IgAN genes in the pathogenesis of disease. 

  • Glomerulosclerosis

    Glomerulosclerosis (scarring of the glomerulus, the “filter” of the kidney) is the end result of diverse forms of kidney injury. Genetic and genomics studies have identified 6 susceptibility loci for different murine models of kidney injury (HIV-1 transgenic mice, db/db FVBN/J diabetic mice and the Adriamycin nephropathy model). One set of loci regulate expression of genes in podocytes, the epithelial cells that maintain the kidney filtration barrier. The other set of loci are involved in mitochondrial homeostasis via maintenance of mitochondrial DNA or regulation of oxidative phosphorylation. These findings enable dissection of specific molecular pathways that are shared among various forms of nephropathy.

Lab Members

  • Krzysztof Kiryluk, MD, MS
  • Yifu Li, MD
  • Natalia Papeta, PhD
  • Simone Sanna-Cherchi, MD
  • Miguel Verbitsky, PhD
  • Patricia Liu Weng, MD
  • Yasar Caliskan, MD
  • Sindhuri Prakash
  • Samantha Shapiro
  • D. Anthony Fasel
  • Ami Patel
  • Brittany Perry
  • Holly Snyder, NP


  • University of Calgary
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • University of Michigan, Division of Nephrology
  • Yale University School of Medicine, Department


  • Paris: Necker Hospital, ISERM
  • Saint Etienne: University North Hospital, Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Renal Transplantation
  • Villejuif: INSERM, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health


  • Aachen: RWTH University of Aachen, Department of Nephrology
  • Wurzburg: University Hospital, Division of Nephrology


  • Beijing: Peking University, Institute of Nephrology
  • Beijing: Peking University First Hospital, Renal Division
  • Shanghai: Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Department of Nephrology


  • Tokyo: Juntendo University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology
  • Niigata University, Division of Clinical Nephrology and Rheumatology


  • Gharavi AG, Yan Y, Scolari F, Schena FP, Frasca GM, Giggheri GM, Cooper K, Amoroso A, Viola BF, Battini G, Caridi G, Canova C, Farhi A, Subramanian V, Nelson-Williams C, Woodford S, Julian BA,Wyatt RJ, Lifton RP. (2000) IgA nephropathy, the most common cause of glomerulonephritis, is linked to 6q22-23. Nat. Genetics 26:354-7
  • Gharavi AG, Ahmad T, Wong RD, Hooshyar R, Vaughn J, Oller S, Frankel RZ , Bruggeman LA , D'Agati VD , Klotman PE , and Lifton RP. (2004) Mapping a Locus (HIVAN1) for Susceptibility to HIV-1 Associated Nephropathy to Mouse Chromosome 3 Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 101:2488-2493
  • Zheng Z, Ott-Schmitt K, Chua S., Foster K A., Frankel R Z., Barasch J, Pavlidis P., D’ Agati VD, Gharavi AG. (2005) A Mendelian Locus on Chromosome 16 Determines Susceptibility to Doxorubicin Nephropathy In The Mouse. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 102:2502-2507
  • Gharavi AG, Moldoveanu Z, Wyatt RJ, Barker CV, Woodford SY, Lifton RP, Mestecky J, Novak J, Julian BA. (2008) Aberrant IgA1 Glycosylation is Inherited in Familial and Sporadic IgA Nephropathy J Am Soc Nephrol 19:1008-14
  • Papeta N, Chan KT, Prakash S, Martino J, Zheng Z, Frankel R, Klotman PE, D’Agati VD, Lifton, RP, Gharavi, AG. (2009) Susceptibility Loci for HIV- Associated Nephropathy encode trans-regulators of Podocyte Gene Expression. J Clin Invest 119:1178-88
  • Papeta N, Zheng Z, Schon EA, Brosel S, Altintas MM, Nasr SH, Reiser J, D'Agati VD, Gharavi AG. (2010) Prkdc participates in mitochondrial genome maintenance and prevents Adriamycin-induced nephropathy in mice. J Clin Invest. 20:4055-64
  • Gharavi AG, Kiryluk K, Choi M, Li Y, Hou P, Xie J, Sanna-Cherchi S, Men CJ, Julian BA, Wyatt RJ, Novak J, He JC, Wang H, Lv J, Zhu L, Wang W, Wang Z, Yasuno K, Gunel M, Mane S, Umlauf S, Tikhonova I, Beerman I, Savoldi S, Magistroni R, Ghiggeri GM, Bodria ( 2011 ) Genome wide association study identifies susceptibility loci for IgA nephropathy. Nat. Genetics 43:321–327
  • Sanna-Cherchi S., Burgess KE, Nees SN, Caridi G, Weng PL, Dagnino M, M, Carrea A, Allegretta MA, Kim HR, Perry BJ, Gigante M, Clark LN, Kisselev S, Cusi D, Loreto Gesualdo L, Allegri L, Scolari F, D’Agati VD, Shapiro LS, Pecoraro C, Palomero T, Ghiggeri G (2011) Exome Sequencing Identifies MYO1E and NEIL1 as Candidate Genes for Human Autosomal Recessive Steroid Resistant Nephrotic Syndrome. Kidney International 80:389-96
  • Kiryluk K, Li Y, Sanna-Cherchi S, Rohanizadegan M, Suzuki H, Eitner, Snyder HJ, Choi M, Hou P, Scolari F, Izzi C, Gigante M, Gesualdo L, Savoldi S, Amoroso A, Cusi D, Zamboli P, Julian BA, Novak J, Wyatt RJ, Mucha K, Perola M, KristianssonK, Magnusson PK, (2012) Geographic Differences in Genetic Susceptibility to IgA Nephropathy: GWAS Replication Study and Geospatial Risk Analysis PloS Genetics 8:e1002765
  • Lugani F, Arora R, Papeta N, Patel A, Zheng Z, Sterken R, Singer RA, Caridi G, Mendelsohn C, Sussel L, Papaioannou VE, Gharavi AG. (2013) A retrotransposon insertion in the 5' regulatory domain of Ptf1a results in ectopic gene expression and multiple congenital defects in Danforth's short tail mouse. PloS Genetics 9:e1003206
  • Sanna-Cherchi S, Sampogna RV, Papeta N, Burgess KE, Nees SN, Perry BJ, Choi M, Bodria M, Liu Y, Weng PL, Lozanovski VJ, Verbitsky M, Lugani F, Sterken R, Paragas N, Caridi G, Carrea A, Dagnino M, Materna-Kiryluk A, Santamaria G, Murtas C, Ristoska-Bojkovs (2013) Mutations in DSTYK and Dominant Urinary Tract Malformations. N Engl J Med. (in press)

For a complete list of publications, please visit