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 the latest advances in research and to streamlined, coordinated and evidenced-based surgical and medical treatment of urologic, genital and kidney issues.

The center’s collaborative and integrated process combines exceptional clinical care, advocacy, novel research, and training and education to develop the next generation of nephrology and urology treatment and continually improve outcomes for children everywhere.

About Us

The Urology and Nephrology and Hypertension teams at Nationwide Children’s are nationally-recognized by their peers for excellence in patient care, research and outcomes. 

Building upon established collaborations to bring them together, the Kidney and Urinary Tract Center offers many advantages for patients who need care from experts in both urology and nephrology. 

Each visit includes both a urologist and nephrologist. The real-time collaboration of two subspecialists in the room during a single visit results in a more complete and informed personal care plan. 

This comprehensive, multidisciplinary care approach is built into every visit, every treatment and every surgery to provide acute and chronic nephrology and urology services driven by the latest discoveries and innovations in research and enable best outcomes for the most complex kidney, urinary tract and genital conditions. 

Streamlining visits also provides clear benefits for patients and families from a time and convenience standpoint, and a clinical care coordinator guides them through every step of the process.

Meet Our Leadership

The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center at Nationwide Children’s is led and staffed by pediatric experts who provide patients and their families with world-class, innovative care. These visionary leaders represent the breadth of experience and expertise across the integrated center. 

Linda Baker

Linda A. Baker

Linda Baker, MD, is Co-Director of and principal investigator in The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center. She is a renowned physician scientist and an expert in rare complex pediatric conditions including prune belly syndrome and genitourinary surgical reconstruction.

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 Center. He is also an associate professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Spencer’s National Institutes of Health (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 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 research director of the Kidney and Urinary Tract Center. Dr. Becknell is also an associate professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. His clinical and research interests include improving the health of children with congenital urinary tract disorders. His National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded laboratory is focused on developing approaches to limit kidney injury in the setting of congenital urinary tract obstruction.

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
  • Prune belly syndrome
  • 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. To ensure each patient is seen by the right team and at the right time, The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center is uniquely staffed by a care coordinator who serves as a personal liaison for patients with kidney and urinary tract concerns.

A Strategy for Continually Improved Outcomes

Specialized clinical pathways for urinary tract infections (UTI), congenital anomalies of kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) and kidney stones are an integral part of the process that allow extensive research and evaluation to improve care. This allows clinical treatments to evolve through ongoing research initiatives and ensures better outcomes for every patient.

Complete Clinical and Research Integration

The Kidney and Urinary Tract Center offers patients access to personalized care plans for the treatment of their urologic and kidney issues through streamlined, collaborative visits with at least two of our surgical and medical experts at once. 

Additionally, our experts are all active in research, and Nationwide Children’s is a recognized leader in kidney and urinary tract innovation and discovery.

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 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.  


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 “the 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.


Research in the Kidney and Urinary Tract Center aims to enhance the health of children with kidney and bladder disorders and transform the management and prevention of these disorders. Clinician-scientists and basic scientists aim to discover new therapies and diagnostic approaches, validate them in preclinical models and translate these discoveries to the bedside to improve clinical outcomes and create new cures. Investigators in the Kidney and Urinary Tract Center have already made many contributions to advancing understandings of disorders commonly treated by pediatric nephrologists and urologists, including acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, urinary tract infections (UTI), congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT), nephrotic syndrome and more.

Learn More

2024 Kidney and Urinary Tract Center Symposium

State-of-The-Art in Congenital Obstructive Uropathy
March 13-14, 2024

The overall goal of this symposium is to provide a current, high-level summary of the mechanisms and management of congenital obstructive uropathy due to bladder outlet obstruction, highlighting knowledge gaps and making recommendations about next steps for research to guide the care of patients at all phases of their disease course.

Register Now!


Opening Address Main Conference
Date March 13, 2024
March 14, 2024
Location Nationwide Children's Discovery Auditorium Nationwide Children's Hospital Conference Center
Time 5 to 7 p.m. 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Featured Speakers Armando Lorenzo, MD | The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
Predicting Outcomes in Congenital Obstructive Uropathy

Nina Mann, MD | Boston Children’s Hospital
Mechanisms of Congenital Obstructive Uropathy

Rodrigo Ruano, MD, PhD | UHealth Jackson Fetal Care Center
Fetal Interventions for Congenital Obstructive Uropathy

Joost Schanstra, PhD | Inserm in France
Fetal Biomarkers of Congenital Obstructive Uropathy

Richard Lee, MD | Boston Children’s Hospital
Postnatal Biomarkers of Congenital Obstructive Uropathy

Daryl McLeod, MD, MPH | Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Chronic Kidney Disease Progression in Congenital Obstructive Uropathy

Inside the Kidney and Urinary Tract Center