Michael B. Becknell, MD, PhD :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Michael Brian Becknell, MD, PhD

Michael Brian Becknell, MD, PhD

Contact Information

700 Children's Dr
Columbus, OH 43205 [ map ]
PH: (614) 722-4360
FX: (614) 722-6482
Email Me

Location Information for Patients

Main Campus


M. Brian Becknell, MD, PhD, is a pediatric nephrologist at Nationwide Children’s and principal investigator for the Center for Clinical and Translational Research. He is also an assistant professor of pediatrics for The Ohio State University College of Medicine, where he received his medical degree. Dr. Becknell completed his residency and pediatric nephrology fellowship at Nationwide Children’s. His clinical interests include pyelonephritis and congenital obstructive nephropathy. Dr. Becknell’s research interests include understanding the mechanisms responsible for deterioration of kidney function in children with congenital obstructive nephropathy.


  • Male

Languages Spoken:

  • English
  • German

Clinical Interests

  • Pyelonephritis, congenital obstructive nephropathy, BK nephropathy

Research Interests

Research Center:

Areas of Interest:

  • Congenital obstruction of the urinary tract is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and dialysis dependence in children. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for deterioration of kidney function in children with congenital obstructive nephropathy is of paramount importance. It is considered axiomatic that obstruction of the urinary tract predisposes to urinary tract infection (UTI). Moreover, UTIs in children with obstructive nephropathy are associated with increased risk of serious complications such as pyelonephritis, renal abscess, urosepsis, and prolonged hospitalization. In addition to these acute sequelae, pyelonephritis leads to renal scarring, hypertension, proteinuria, and progressive deterioration of renal function, worsening underlying CKD in patients with obstructive nephropathy. The primary mechanism utilized by the urinary tract to defend against bacterial invasion is innate immunity. Innate immune cells and renal epithelia serve key proposed roles in the innate immune response against uropathogenic bacteria. Recent studies demonstrate altered renal urothelium structure and function in a unique mouse model of congenital obstructive nephropathy. These data lead to the hypothesis that urinary tract obstruction results in renal urothelial dysfunction, which in turn places patients at risk for compromised epithelial integrity and development of pyelonephritis.

Education and Training

Undergraduate School

  • Kenyon College
    Date Completed: 06/30/1997

Graduate School

  • Washington University, St. Louis
    Date Completed: 06/30/1999

Postdoctoral Training

  • The Ohio State University
    Date Completed: 06/30/2006

Medical School

  • Ohio State University College of Medicine
    Date Completed: 06/08/2008


  • Nationwide Children's Hospital
    Date Completed: 06/30/2011


  • Nationwide Children's Hospital
    Date Completed: 06/30/2013


  • Pediatrics


  • Nephrology


  • Pediatric Nephrology
  • Pediatrics

Date of Appointment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital:

  • 07/01/2013

Professional Experience


  • The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital


  • Becknell B, Spencer JD. 2016. A Review of Ribonuclease 7's Structure, Regulation, and Contributions to Host Defense.  Int J Mol Sci.. Vol. 17, no. 3. (March): eE423.
  • Carpenter,Ashley,R; Becknell,M,Brian; Ching,Christina,B; Cuaresma,Edward,J; Chen,Xi; Hains,David,S; McHugh,Kirk,M. 2016. Uroplakin 1b is critical in urinary tract development and urothelial differentiation and homeostasis.  KIDNEY INTERNATIONAL. Vol. 89, no. 3. (March): 612-624.
  • Spencer JD, Jackson AR, Li B, Ching CB, Vonau M, Easterling RS, Schwaderer AL, McHugh KM, Becknell B. 2015. Expression and Significance of the HIP/PAP and RegIIIγ Antimicrobial Peptides during Mammalian Urinary Tract Infection.  PLoS One. Vol. 10, no. December: ee0144024.
  • Becknell B, Schwaderer A, Hains DS, Spencer JD. 2015. Amplifying renal immunity: the role of antimicrobial peptides in pyelonephritis.  Nat Rev Nephrol. Vol. 11, no. November: 642-655.
  • Barr-Beare E, Saxena V, Hilt EE, Thomas-White K, Schober M, Li B, Becknell B, Hains DS, Wolfe AJ, Schwaderer AL. 2015. The Interaction between Enterobacteriaceae and Calcium Oxalate Deposits.  PLoS One. Vol. 10, no. October: ee0139575.
  • Becknell B, Mohamed AZ, Li B, Wilhide ME, Ingraham SE. 2015. Urine Stasis Predisposes to Urinary Tract Infection by an Opportunistic Uropathogen in the Megabladder (Mgb) Mouse.  PLoS One. Vol. 10, no. September: ee0139077.
  • Becknell, B, and Spencer, JD. 2015. Antimicrobial Peptides: Maintaining Sterility of the Urinary Tract. In Antimicrobial Peptides: Role in Human Health and Disease. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
  • Becknell B, Schober M, Korbel L, Spencer JD. 2015. The diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of acute and recurrent pediatric urinary tract infections.  Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. Vol. 13, no. January: 81-90.
  • Becknell B, Eichler TE, Beceiro S, Li B, Easterling RS, Carpenter AR, James CL, McHugh KM, Hains DS, Partida-Sanchez S, Spencer JD. 2015. Ribonucleases 6 and 7 have antimicrobial function in the human and murine urinary tract.  Kidney Int.. Vol. 87, no. January: 151-161.
  • Hains DS, Chen X, Saxena V, Barr-Beare E, Flemming W, Easterling R, Becknell B, Schwartz GJ, Schwaderer AL. 2014. Carbonic anhydrase 2 deficiency leads to increased pyelonephritis susceptibility.  Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. Vol. 307, no. October: F869-880.
  • Becknell,Brian; Spencer,John,David; Carpenter,Ashley,R; Chen,Xi; Singh,Aspinder; Ploeger,Suzanne; Kline,Jennifer; Ellsworth,Patrick; Li,Birong; Proksch,Ehrhardt; Schwaderer,Andrew,L; Hains,David,S; Justice,Sheryl,S; McHugh,Kirk,M. 2013. Expression and Antimicrobial Function of Beta-Defensin 1 in the Lower Urinary Tract.  PLOS ONE. Vol. 8, no. 10. (October).
  • Becknell,Brian; Carpenter,Ashley,R; Allen,Jordan,L; Wilhide,Michael,E; Ingraham,Susan,E; Hains,David,S; McHugh,Kirk,M. 2013. Molecular Basis of Renal Adaptation in a Murine Model of Congenital Obstructive Nephropathy.  PLOS ONE. Vol. 8, no. 9. (September): e10.
  • Becknell,Brian; Carpenter,Ashley,R; Bolon,Brad; Asplin,John,R; Ingraham,Susan,E; Hains,David,S; Schwaderer,Andrew,L; McHugh,Kirk,M. 2013. Struvite Urolithiasis and Chronic Urinary Tract Infection in a Murine Model of Urinary Diversion.  UROLOGY. Vol. 81, no. 5. (May): 943-948.
  • Guess,Adam,J; Ayoob,Rose; Chanley,Melinda; Manley,Joshua; Cajaiba,Mariana,M; Agrawal,Shipra; Pengal,Ruma; Pyle,Amy,L; Becknell,Brian; Kopp,Jeffrey,B; Ronkina,Natalia; Gaestel,Matthias; Benndorf,Rainer; Smoyer,William,E. 2013. Crucial Roles of the Protein Kinases MK2 and MK3 in a Mouse Model of Glomerulonephritis.  PLOS ONE. Vol. 8, no. 1. (January): ee54239.
  • Becknell,Brian; Greenbaum,Larry,A; Smoyer,William,E. 2012. A new 'tac' for childhood nephrotic syndrome.  KIDNEY INTERNATIONAL. Vol. 82, no. 10. (November): 1049-1051.
  • Becknell,Brian; Hains,David,S; Schwaderer,Andrew,L; VanderBrink,Brian,A; Spencer,John,David; Reagan,Patricia,B; McHugh,Kirk,M. 2012. Impact of urinary tract infection on inpatient healthcare for congenital obstructive uropathy.  JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC UROLOGY. Vol. 8, no. 5. (October): 470-476.
  • Spencer,John,David; Hains,David,S; Porter,Edith; Bevins,Charles,L; DiRosario,Julianne; Becknell,Brian; Wang,Huanyu; Schwaderer,Andrew,L. 2012. Human Alpha Defensin 5 Expression in the Human Kidney and Urinary Tract.  PLOS ONE. Vol. 7, no. 2. (February): ee31712.
  • Spencer,John,David; Schwaderer,Andrew; Mchugh,Kirk; VanderBrink,Brian; Becknell,Brian; Hains,David,S. 2011. The demographics and costs of inpatient vesicoureteral reflux management in the USA.  PEDIATRIC NEPHROLOGY. Vol. 26, no. 11. (November): 1995-2001.
  • Becknell,Brian; Pais,Priya; Onimoe,Grace; Rangarajan,Hemalatha; Schwaderer,Andrew,L; Mchugh,Kirk; Ranalli,Mark,A; Hains,David,S. 2011. Hepatoblastoma and prune belly syndrome: a potential association.  PEDIATRIC NEPHROLOGY. Vol. 26, no. 8. (August): 1269-1273.
  • Becknell,Brian; Zender,Gloria,A; Houston,Ronald; Baker,Peter,B; McBride,Kim,L; Luo,Wentian; Hains,David,S; Borza,Dorin-Bogdan; Schwaderer,Andrew,L. 2011. Novel X-linked glomerulopathy is associated with a COL4A5 missense mutation in a non-collagenous interruption.  KIDNEY INTERNATIONAL. Vol. 79, no. 1. (January): 120-127.
  • Eichler, T, Becknell, B, Easterling, R, et al. 0. Insulin and the PI3K/AKT Signaling Pathway Regulate Ribonuclease 7 Expression in the Human Urinary Tract.  Kidney International.
  • Schwaderer AL, Wang H, Kim S, Kline JM, Liang D, Brophy PD, McHugh KM, Tseng GC, Saxena V, Barr-Beare E, Pierce KR, Shaikh N, Manak JR, Cohen DM, Becknell B, Spencer JD, Baker PB, Yu CY, Hains DS. 0. Polymorphisms in α-Defensin-Encoding DEFA1A3 Associate with Urinary Tract Infection Risk in Children with Vesicoureteral Reflux.  J Am Soc Nephrol..
  • Wilhide, ME, Mohamed, AZ, Becknell, B, et al. 0. Renal Epithelial miR-205 Expression Correlates with Disease Severity in a Mouse Model of Congenital Obstructive Nephropathy.  Pediatric Research.

Awards, Honors and Organizations

  • Kenney Award, Best Abstract Presentation by a Pediatric Fellow, Midwest Society for Pediatric Research, 2012
  • NIH Loan Repayment Program Award, NIDDK, 2012
  • Travel Grant, Society for Pediatric Research, 2012
  • Resident Teaching Award, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2011
  • Outstanding Resident Publication Award, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 2011
  • NIH Loan Repayment Program Award, NIDDK, 2010
  • Resident Research Grant, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2010
  • Intramural Grant, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute, 2010
  • House Officer Research Award, Society for Pediatric Research, 2010
  • Invited Resident, Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs (AMSPDC) Frontiers in Science, 2010
  • Invited Resident Travel Grant, American Society for Nephrology, 2009
  • Travel Grant, Pediatric Nephrology Seminar, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, 2009
  • Medical Scientist Award, Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2008
  • MD/PhD Leadership and Academic Achievement Scholarship, Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2008
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2008
  • Outstanding Academic Merit Scholarship, Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2008
  • Grant Morrow III, MD Award, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2008
  • Landacre Society, Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2007
  • American Society of Hematology Travel Award, 2004
  • Dean’s Distinguished University Fellowship, Ohio State University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1999
  • Bennett Fellowship, Ohio State University, College of Medicine, 1999
  • Medical Scientist Fellowship, Ohio State University, College of Medicine, 1999
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Predoctoral Fellowship, 1998
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Kenyon College, 1997
Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000