The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center

Integrating Exceptional Clinical Care With Novel Research Discoveries 

The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center

The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center offers patients access to expert surgical and medical treatment of urologic, genital and kidney issues. 

The Center is a collaborative, integrated process designed to combine patient care, advocacy, research, and training to develop the next generation of nephrology and urology treatment for children.

Nephrology and urology physicians, surgeons, scientists and care staff at Nationwide Children’s are nationally recognized in patient care and research by peers for reputation and outcomes.

About Us

The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center offers many advantages for patients who need care from experts in both urology and nephrology. 

Each patient journey begins with a clinical care coordinator who will guide you and your child through every step of the process.

The real-time collaboration of two subspecialists in the room with you and your child patient results in a more complete and informed personal care plan.

The center also provides clear benefits for patients from a time and convenience standpoint. Streamlining visits saves time for families since two doctors can discuss your child’s care with you during the same visit.

Meet Our Team

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

V. Rama Jayanthi

V. Rama Jayanthi, MD, is the chief of the Department of Pediatric Urology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a clinical professor of Urology in the Department of Urology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is also chief of Pediatric Urology at Dayton Children’s Hospital. Dr. Jayanthi is a full-time pediatric urologist with expertise in all aspects of the medical and surgical management of genitourinary problems, including such diverse conditions as urinary tract infections, hydronephrosis, urinary incontinence, hypospadias and intersex conditions. He has a strong interest in multispecialty collaborative care for children with complex conditions, as evidenced by his involvement in not only the Kidney and Urinary Tract Center but also CCPR (colorectal center).

John David Spencer, MD

John David Spencer

John David Spencer, MD, is chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and a principal investigator in The Kidney and Urinary Tract Research Center. He is also an associate professor of pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Spencer’s NIH-funded research focuses on defining the molecular mechanisms that regulate and prevent infections in the kidney and urinary tract, with an emphasis on the role that antimicrobial peptides play in maintaining sterility in the urinary tract.

Michael Brian Becknell

Michael Brian Becknell

Brian Becknell, MD, PhD, is a pediatric nephrologist at Nationwide Children’s and the director of The Kidney and Urinary Tract Research Center. He is also an associate professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. His clinical and research interests are directed toward improving the health of children with congenital urinary tract disorders. His NIH-funded laboratory is focused on developing approaches to limit kidney injury in the setting of congenital urinary tract obstruction.

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

Christina B. Ching

Christina B. Ching, MD, is a pediatric urologist in the Department of Pediatric Urology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a principle investigator in the Kidney and Urinary Tract Research Center. She is also a clinical associate professor in the Department of Urology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Her clinical interests span all aspects of pediatric urology but she is particularly interested in urinary tract infections and urinary tract obstruction as these are areas of focus in her NIH-funded laboratory. She currently has a K08 looking at IL-6 signaling in response to urinary tract infections.

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

Daryl J. McLeod

Daryl McLeod, MD, MPH, is a member of the Section of Pediatric Urology at Nationwide Children’s and a principal investigator in The Kidney and Urinary Tract Research Center. He is interested in all aspects of urologic problems in children including urinary tract infections, hydronephrosis, urinary incontinence, hypospadias, kidney stones, ureteral reflux, spina bifida and other complex pelvic and urinary conditions. His true passion is improving the clinical outcomes of children with congenital urinary tract anomalies through multispecialty care and translational research.

Conditions We Treat

The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center serves patients with many types of conditions related to the urinary system and kidneys, including:

  • Congenital anomalies of kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT)
  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary tract obstruction
  • Posterior urethral valves
  • Severe vesicoureteral reflux
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Solitary kidney
  • Other urinary tract issues causing problems with the kidney

What Makes Us Different

The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center uses a cross-disciplinary approach to manage each patient’s care path. Clinical pathways are an integral part of the process that allows extensive research and evaluation to improve care.  To ensure your child is seen by the right team, at the right time, a clinical care coordinator is assigned to serve as a personal liaison. 

A Strategy for Continually Improved Outcomes

Specialized clinical pathways for UTIs, CAKUT, and kidney stones, allow each patient to be seen by the right providers at the right time, and align clinical care with ongoing research initiatives. This allows for clinical treatments to evolve and provide better outcomes for every patient.

Complete Clinical and Research Integration

Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a recognized leader in kidney and urinary tract research. Physician-scientists and basic scientists in the Kidney and Urinary Tract Center aim to discover new therapies and diagnostic approaches that will transform the management and prevention of kidney and bladder disorders. Investigators in the Kidney and Urinary Tract Research Center have already made many contributions to advance the understanding of disorders commonly treated by pediatric nephrologists and urologists.

Coordination, Collaboration and Convenience

The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center is staffed by a kidney care coordinator, a unique role specifically designed to coordinate our patients with kidney and urinary tract concerns. Urologists and nephrologists improve care by enabling two doctors to discuss a single patient during their visit.

Unlike Any Other Pediatric Hospital

No other hospital in the country has a true integration like The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center has committed to. The multidisciplinary care approach is built into every visit, every treatment, every surgery and every discovery. This allows for even greater capacity to provide best outcomes for the most complex kidney, urinary tract and genital conditions.

Resources for Families

Nephrology Blog Posts on 700 Children's

Many of our experts are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s® was created especially for you.

Urology Blog Posts on 700 Children's

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. 

Kidney (Renal) Biopsy

What to expect if your child is having a kidney biopsy.

Renal Scan: Nuclear Medicine

Prepare for your child's renal scan in nuclear medicine with this Helping Hand.

Urodynamics

Urodynamics is a series of tests that are done to see how well the urethra and bladder are working. This Helping Hand will teach you everything you need to know to prepare for your child's tests.  

Referrals

Health care providers seeking an urgent referral may call our office at (614) 722-6650.

For non-urgent referrals, health care providers may fax referral information to Central Scheduling at (614) 722-4000. Please specify the referral to “Kidney and Urinary Tract Center.” 

Patients and families may request a referral to the Kidney and Urinary Tract Center from their primary care provider or specialist. To help speed up the referral process, a patient or family may call our office at (614) 722-6630 to let us know that you have requested a referral.

Nephrology and Urology Research Affinity Group (NURAG) 

The goal of the Nephrology and Urology Research Affinity Group (NURAG) is to enhance the health of children with kidney and urinary tract disorders by engaging in high-quality, innovative research. Clinician-scientists and basic scientists in NURAG aim to discover new therapies and diagnostic approaches that will transform the management and prevention of kidney and bladder disorders. The goal of NURAG is to identify new therapeutic and diagnostic targets, validate them in preclinical models, and translate these discoveries to the clinic so that novel therapies and management strategies can improve clinical outcomes and lead to new cures. Investigators in NURAG have already made many contributions to advance the understanding of disorders commonly treated by pediatric nephrologists and urologists – including acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, urinary tract infections, congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract, and nephrotic syndrome.

Learn More

Annual Kidney and Urinary Tract Symposium

Save the date for the 2nd Annual Kidney and Urinary Tract Symposium on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

Come back soon for additional information!

Inside the Kidney and Urinary Tract Center