Heidi Schaefer
Last active: 2/25/2014


I have specialized in the care of kidney transplant recipients and living kidney donors since 2003 and currently serve as the Medical Director of the Living Donor Program. I have a particular interest in caring for patients with dual organ transplants, other organ transplants with chronic kidney disease, and kidney transplant recipients with HIV. I also have developed an expertise in caring for pregnant kidney transplant recipients.

My clinical, patient based research includes the evaluation of novel immunosuppressive agents in kidney transplant recipients as well as medical complications related to kidney transplantation. I have served as the Primary Investigator and Co-Investigator on multiple multi-center trials and have participated as an FDA advisor on the design of endpoints of clinical trials in kidney transplantation. In addition, I have an interest in performance improvement initiatives in living donation and lead the Living Donor QAPI Committee at Vanderbilt.

Currently, I am serving a six-year term on the ASN Transplant Advisory Group (TAG) and am the TAG representative to the ASN Quality and Patient Safety Task Force.

In my academic role, I have over 20 publications in peer approved journals and serve as the director of the kidney transplant fellowship training program at Vanderbilt. I play an integral role in medical student education and mentoring.




The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Acute decompensation of allograft function in a kidney transplant recipient. Christopher D, McElmurray JH, Shaffer D, Schaefer HM (2013) Am J Transplant 13(12): 3284-5; quiz 3286
    › Citation · 24266978 (PubMed)
  2. Critical and honest conversations: the evidence behind the "Choosing Wisely" campaign recommendations by the American Society of Nephrology. Williams AW, Dwyer AC, Eddy AA, Fink JC, Jaber BL, Linas SL, Michael B, O'Hare AM, Schaefer HM, Shaffer RN, Trachtman H, Weiner DE, Falk AR, American Society of Nephrology Quality, and Patient Safety Task Force (2012) Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 7(10): 1664-72
    › Citation · 22977214 (PubMed)
  3. Long-term management of the kidney transplant recipient. Schaefer HM (2012) Blood Purif 33(1-3): 205-11
    › Citation · 22269883 (PubMed)
  4. Caring for the pregnant kidney transplant recipient. Concepcion BP, Schaefer HM (2011) Clin Transplant 25(6): 821-9
    › Citation · 21810120 (PubMed)
  5. Allograft nephrectomy after transplant failure: should it be performed in all patients returning to dialysis? Schaefer HM, Helderman JH (2010) J Am Soc Nephrol 21(2): 207-8
    › Citation · 20075065 (PubMed)
  6. Contemporary dialysis: as good as transplantation? Schaefer HM, Helderman JH (2010) Nat Rev Nephrol 6(1): 8-9
    › Citation · 20023681 (PubMed)
  7. Recurrent pauci-immune necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis in a kidney transplant patient. Schaefer HM, Langone A, Helderman JH, Fogo AB (2010) Am J Kidney Dis 55(3): 604-8
    › Citation · 19782451 (PubMed)
  8. Serum sickness following rabbit antithymocyte-globulin induction in a liver transplant recipient: case report and literature review. Lundquist AL, Chari RS, Wood JH, Miller GG, Schaefer HM, Raiford DS, Wright KJ, Gorden DL (2007) Liver Transpl 13(5): 647-50
    › Citation · 17377915 (PubMed)
  9. Short-term results under three different immunosuppressive regimens at one center. Schaefer HM, Kizilisik AT, Feurer I, Nylander WA, Langone AJ, Helderman JH, Shaffer D (2006) Transplant Proc 38(10): 3466-7
    › Citation · 17175305 (PubMed)
  10. Calcineurin inhibitor avoidance versus steroid avoidance following kidney transplantation: Postoperative complications. Shaffer D, Kizilisik AT, Feurer I, Nylander WA, Helderman JH, Langone AJ, Schaefer HM (2006) Transplant Proc 38(10): 3464-5
    › Citation · 17175304 (PubMed)
  11. Slow decline in allograft function in a renal transplant patient. Schaefer HM, Helderman JH, Fogo AB (2006) Am J Kidney Dis 48(2): 335-8
    › Citation · 16860203 (PubMed)
  12. Mortality after kidney transplantation: what lessons can we learn from regional and country variation? Schaefer HM, Kaplan B, Helderman JH (2006) Am J Transplant 6(1): 3-4
    › Citation · 16433747 (PubMed)