Skip Navigation

Medical Expert - Barry I. Freedman, MD, FACP

Area of Expertise: Kidney Disease
Area of Expertise: Minority Health - Internal Medicine/ Nephrology
Area of Expertise: Nephrology
Media Contact: Marguerite Beck
Media Office: 336-716-2415 Media Mobile: 336-480-8599
Patient Contact: Health On-Call® 1-800-446-2255

Barry I. Freedman, MD, FACP

John H. Felts, III Professor and Chief, Nephrology

Freedman is an active clinician-researcher whose research focuses on genetic causes of kidney and cardiovascular disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, particularly in African-Americans; as well as clinical outcomes in chronic kidney disease and after renal transplantation. He has helped Wake Forest Baptist amass one of the world’s largest single-center collections of DNA samples from African-Americans with kidney disease and diabetes. He and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reported the role of the APOL1 gene as a major risk factor for kidney failure in African-Americans. Variants in APOL1 contribute to approximately 40 percent of all end-stage kidney disease in this population. Freedman’s research challenged long-held beliefs about hypertension as a cause of kidney disease in African-Americans. His work proved that hypertension often results from primary APOL1-related kidney disease and that hypertension is not the inciting cause of kidney disease. He is listed in Best Doctors in America and US News and World Report’s Top Doctors.


kidney disease, renal failure, dialysis, difficult hypertension, renal replacement therapy, acid-base and electrolyte disorders, renal tubular disorders, minority health-kidney disease, Minority Health-Atherosclerosis, Clinical Nephrology, Genetic Factors in Kidney Disease and Diabetes, Hypertension, Atherosclerosis


Rapid Testing for Gene Variants in Kidney Donors May Optimize Transplant Outcomes
Kidney transplantation outcomes from deceased African-American donors may improve through rapid testing for apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) renal risk variants at the time of organ recovery, according to a new study led by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Sickle Cell Trait Is Not Risk Factor For Kidney Disease

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center report that sickle cell trait is not a risk factor for the development of severe kidney disease in African-Americans. This study, published in the August online issue of Kidney International, contradicts findings from a 2010 study that first suggested that having one copy of the sickle cell gene was a kidney disease risk factor.

Study: Non-genetic Factors Play Role in Non-diabetic Kidney Disease among African-Americans

The high rate of non-diabetic kidney disease in African-Americans is strongly associated with variations in a particular gene. Yet, not everyone who inherits these variations develops the disease. 


Wake Forest Baptist March Awards and Recognitions
Wake Forest Baptist March Awards and Recognitions
Wake Forest Baptist Receives Federal Funding to Conduct National Study on Risks Associated With Kidney Transplantation

The National Institutes of Health has awarded two, five-year grants to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center worth more than $5 million to prospectively study the effects of a genetic variation in organ donors that appears to contribute to survival of kidneys after transplantation. 

Related Experts

John M. Burkart, MD
Professor, Internal Medicine-Nephrology
Area of Expertise: Nephrology

Burkart is president of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis. His research focuses on evaluating peritoneal and hemodialysis outcomes. He is the director of the Medical Center's outpatient dialysis program and also provides leadership for other dialysis programs operated by

Wake Forest Baptist Ranked among Nation’s ‘Best Hospitals’  25 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World ReportComprehensive Cancer Centers National Designation is Renewed2017-2018 Best DoctorsNursing Magnet StatusJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

© Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157. All Rights Reserved.