WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Michael V. Rocco, M.D., is the first holder of the newly created Vardaman M. Buckalew Jr. Professorship in the Section on Nephrology of Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
The endowed position honors Buckalew, a physician who was head of the Section on Nephrology in the Department of Internal Medicine for 26 years. He recently stepped down from serving as chief of professional services for North Carolina Baptist Hospital and remains in active practice. Buckalew performed seminal research in hypertension, kidney disease resulting from analgesic ingestion, renal tubular disorders and the effect of protein restriction on progression of kidney disease, said Barry I. Freedman, M.D., head of the Section on Nephrology.
Rocco has been a member of the nephrology faculty since 1991.
"Mike Rocco has performed pioneering research on the adequacy of kidney dialysis treatments and also serves on several national committees that improve the lives of all patients on dialysis worldwide,” Freedman said. “As such, Mike brings international prominence to the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and is deserving of the honor of being named Buckalew Professor."
Rocco has focused his research on improving outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease. He has been funded through the National Institutes of Health for clinical trials in nocturnal home hemodialysis and daily in-center hemodialysis, dosing of dialysis in acute kidney failure, dosing of dialysis in chronic kidney failure, and fistula complications.
He is the vice chair for the National Kidney Foundation Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative. He has served for 10 years on the Services End-Stage Renal Disease Clinical Performance Measures Quality Improvement Committee of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid.
Rocco is a 1981 graduate of Seton Hall University, received his M.D. degree from Vanderbilt University and served his internal medicine residency at Vanderbilt. He completed a nephrology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and received a master's degree in epidemiology at Wake Forest University. He has published 100 papers and book chapters.
The Buckalew Professorship is the second endowed position in the Section on Nephrology. Freedman is the John H. Felts III Professor of Internal Medicine and Nephrology. In addition, Thomas D. DuBose Jr. M.D., chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine and president of the American Society of Nephrology, holds the Tinsley R. Harrison Chair in the Department of Internal Medicine.
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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. U.S. News & World Report ranks Wake Forest University School of Medicine 18th in family medicine, 20th in geriatrics, 25th in primary care and 41st in research among the nation's medical schools. It ranks 35th in research funding by the National Institutes of Health. Almost 150 members of the medical school faculty are listed in Best Doctors in America.