Sandra Amaral, MD, MHS, is an attending physician in CHOP's Division of Nephrology and the Kidney Transplant and Dialysis Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Amaral is also the Distinguished Endowed Chair with the Department of Pediatrics.
Sandra Amaral, MD, MHS, is Medical Director of the Kidney Transplant and Hand Transplant programs at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She leads the Kidney Transplant Transition Clinic Program, and is also the founder and Director of the CHOPed Cooking Camp for youth with kidney disease. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Amaral completed her undergraduate training at Wesleyan University, with a major in Western European History, Philosophy and Literature. She received her MD from the Medical College of Pennsylvania-Hahnemann University School of Medicine, and completed her internship and residency in pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. She completed her pediatric nephrology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and received a Master of Health Science Degree in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Amaral served as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University-Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta from 2006-2011 before she joined CHOP.
Dr. Amaral’s research is focused on kidney transplantation with particular interests in reducing treatment burden for adolescents and young adults — from designing studies to make daily medication regimens easier to diagnosing transplant injury earlier using innovative, non-invasive approaches. She is currently the principal investigator of U-REAACT, a text messaging intervention to promote treatment adherence in youth with kidney transplants and spina bifida. She is also co-principal investigator of an international study, VIRTUUS, to validate urinary biomarker signals associated with rejection and infections in children with kidney transplants. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Amaral is a staunch public policy advocate for children and young adults with renal disease and their caregivers. She serves on the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN) Council, and previously chaired the ASPN Public Policy Committee. She has served on the United Network for Organ Sharing Pediatrics and Kidney Committees. She regularly engages in Capitol Hill Advocacy Days with the ASPN and American Society of Nephrology.
Education and Training
MD - Medical College of Pennsylvania-Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA
Pediatrics - Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Pediatrics - Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Sandra Amaral, Blayne Amir Sayed, Nancy Kutner, Rachel Patzer. Survival Benefits of Preemptive Kidney Transplantation among Pediatric End-Stage Renal Disease Patients in the United States: 2000-2012. Kidney Int. 2016 Nov;90(5):1100-1108. PMID: 27653837
Delphine Nelson, Alicia Neu, Alison Abraham, Sandra Amaral, Donald Batisky, Jeffrey Fadrowski. Immunogenicity of Human Papillomavirus Recombinant Vaccine (Gardasil®) in Children with Chronic Kidney Disease. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 May 6;11(5):776-84. Epub 2016 Apr 7. PMID: 27055465
Jordan Gilleland Marchak, PhD, Bonney Reed-Knight, PhD, Sandra Amaral, MD, MHS, Laura Mee, PhD, Ronald L Blount, PhD. Providers’ assessment of transition readiness among adolescent and young adult kidney transplant recipients. Pediatr Transplant. 2015 Dec;19(8):849-57. Epub 2015 Oct 27. PMID: 26508553
Brendan Keating, PhD, and iGeneTRAIN Consortium. Design and Implementation of the International Genetics and Translational Research in Transplantation Network (iGeneTRAIN). Transplantation. 2015 Nov; 99(11):2401-12. PMID: 26479416
Rebecca Ruebner, MD, MSCE, Taylor Moatz, Sandra Amaral, MD, MHS, Peter Reese, MD, MSCE, Emily Blumberg, MD, Jodi Smith, MD, Lara Danzinger-Isakov, MD, Ben Laskin, MD. Outcomes among children receiving a kidney transplant in the United States from a hepatitis B core antibody positive donor, 1995-2010. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2015 Oct 14. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 2650147
Goldberg AM, Amaral S, Moudgil A. Developing a framework for evaluating kidney transplantation candidacy in children with multiple comorbidities. Pediatr Nephrol. 2015 Jan;30(1):5-13. doi: 10.1007/s00467-013-2704-4. Epub 2014 Jan 23.
Dinee Simpson, Sandra Amaral, Matthew Levine. Understanding Driving Forces in Disparate Living Kidney Donor Rates among Blacks. American Society of Transplant Surgeons 17th Annual State of the Art Winter Symposium. Poster Presentation. Miami, FL. January 26-29, 2017.
Allison Peng, Matthew Levine, Susanna Nazarian. New KAS May Inappropriately Limit Access of Pediatric Donor Kidneys to Pediatric Recipients Based on KDPI. AmeSociety of Nephrology Kidney Week. Poster Presentation. Chicago, IL. November 19, 2016.
Hilda Fernandez, Sandra Amaral, Susan Furth. Variation in tacrolimus level is associated with pediatric de novo DSA and renal allograft rejection. American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week. Poster Presentation. Chicago, IL. November 18, 2016.
Sandra Amaral, Matthew Levine, Avi Shaked, Sonya Lopez, Christine McAndrew, Benjamin Chang, Sudha Kessler, Scott Levin. First Bilateral Hand Transplant in a Child: Medical Management and Challenges. American Transplant Congress. Oral Presentation. Boston, MA. June 2016.
Ray Bignall, Ahna Pai, Sandra Amaral, Susan Furth, Noelle Bergman, Jens Goebel, the TAKE-IT Study Investigators, and Bethany J Foster. Differences in Reported Barriers to Immunosuppression Adherence Between a Cohort of Pediatric Renal Transplant Recipients from the United States and Canada. American Transplant Congress. Poster Presentation. Boston, MA. June 2016.
Camilo Toro, Michelle Ross, Doug Weibe, Sandra Amaral. Geographic Variability in Access to Transplant Centers for Children with End-Stage Renal Disease. American Transplant Congress. Poster Presentation. Boston, MA. June 2016.
Camilo Toro, Michelle Ross, Doug Weibe, Sandra Amaral. Geographic Variability in Access to Transplant Centers for Children with End-Stage Renal Disease. Penn Medicine Health Equity Research Day. Poster Presentation. Philadelphia, PA. April 2016.
Aadil Kakajiwala, Sandra Amaral. How Did That YooHoo Get In My Circuit? 36th Annual Dialysis Conference. Poster Presentation. Seattle, WA. February 28-29, 2016.
Camilo Toro, Michelle Ross, Douglas Wiebe, Okan Elci, Sandra Amaral. Geographic Variability in Access to Transplant Centers for Children with End-Stage Renal Disease. CHOP Research Poster Day. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute. Poster Presentation. Philadelphia, PA. February 24, 2016. *Poster Award
Hilda Fernandez, Sandra Amaral, Pamela Shaw, Roy Bloom, Alden Doyle, Sumit Mohan, Susan Furth. Intrapatient Tacrolimus Level Variability in Pediatric Kidney Recipients Predicts Allograft Loss After Transfer to Adult Care. American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week 2015. Poster Presentation. San Diego, CA. November 6, 2015.
Bobby Noghrey, Evan Smith, Maya Doyle, Sandra Amaral, Hilda Fernandez, Laura Castellanos-Reyes, Frederick Kaskel. Health Care Transitioning for Youth on Dialysis. 3rd Annual American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Multidisciplinary Symposium. Poster Presentation. East Elmhurst, NY. October 2, 2015.
Nina Foster, Elisha Rampolla, Sandra Amaral. CHOPed: Mastering the Art of the Renal Diet. 3rd Annual American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Multidisciplinary Symposium. Poster Presentation. East Elmhurst, NY. October 2, 2015.
Camilo Toro, Michelle Ross, Okan Elci, Sandra Amaral. Geographic Variation in Pediatric End-Stage Renal Disease: How Does it Affect Access to Pediatric Kidney Transplantation? The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP) Poster Day. Philadelphia, PA. Poster Presentation. August 6, 2015. *CRISPP 2015 Outstanding Clinical Research Poster Award
Nina Foster, Elisha Rampolla, Sandra Amaral. CHOPed: Mastering the Art of the Renal Diet. Better Together: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Community Day. Poster Presentation. Philadelphia, PA. June 1, 2015.
Delphine Nelson, Alicia Neu, Sandra Amaral, Donald Batisky, Jeffrey Fadrowski. Immunogenicity of Human Papillomavirus Recombinant Vaccine (Gardasil) in Pediatric Patients with Kidney Disease. Pediatric Academic Societies-American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA. Poster Presentation. April 25, 2015.
Hilda Fernandez, Sandra Amaral, Alden Doyle, Pamela Shaw, Susan Furth. Effect of Transition to Adult Transplant Care on Kidney Function for Pediatric Kidney Transplant Recipients. 2015 8th Congress on Pediatric Transplantation. International Pediatric Transplant Association. San Francisco, CA. Poster Presentation. March 29, 2015.
Christopher Paterno, Nina Foster, Hannah Dashefsky, Sandra Amaral. Fostering the Mentoring Relationship in Adolescent Transplant Recipients: The Role of E-Communication. 2015 Eastern Society for Pediatric Research Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA. Poster Presentation. March 22, 2015.
Sandra Amaral, Pamela Nathanson, Chris Feudtner. The Ethics of Managing Conflicts in the Era of Social Media. Ethical Issues in Pediatric Organ Transplantation. Springer International Publishing. Switzerland. Edition 1. Volume 66. 2016. ISBN 978-3-319-29185-7.
Sandra Amaral, Lorraine Bell. Management of the recipient in the transition from pediatric to adult care. The Textbook of Organ Transplantation. 1st Edition. In: Kirk AD, Knechtle SJ, Larsen CJ, Madsen JC, Pearson TC, Webber SB, editors. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, UK. September 2014.
Amaral S. Hypertension. In: Shah S, Frank G, editors. Patient encounters: the inpatient pediatrics work-up. 1st ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2010. Ch. 18.
Amaral S, Neu A. Clinical methods: growth and development. In: Avner ED, Harmon WE, Niaudet P, Yoshikawa N, editors. Pediatric nephrology. 6th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2009.
Furth S, Amaral S. Themes across renal disease and renal failure. In: Molony D, Craig J, editors. Anemia, in evidence based nephrology. Oxford (UK): Blackwell Publishing; 2009.
Posters and Presentations
Lectures by Invitation
Amaral S. World’s First Pediatric Bilateral Hand Transplant Surgical Videos. Oral presentation, Boston, MA, June 2016
Amaral S. First Bilateral Hand Transplant in a Child: Short-Term Medical Challenges and Outcomes, oral presentation. American Transplant Congress 2016, Boston, MA, June 2016
Amaral S. The Right Donor for the Right Patient: Advising Pediatric Patients in a New Era of Deceased Donor Allocation and Live Donor Risk Tolerance. American Transplant Congress 2016, Boston, MA, June 2016
Amaral S. How to Stay Healthy before Transplant-Fanconi Syndrome and Cystinosis. Cystinosis Research Foundation Day of Hope 2016, Newport Beach, CA, April 2016
Amaral S. Navigating Cystinosis through Adolescence and Early Adulthood: Challenges and Opportunities. Cystinosis Research Foundation Day of Hope 2016, Newport Beach, CA, April 2016
Amaral S. Crossing the Abyss: Strategies to Improve Collaboration between Pediatric and Adult Providers to Optimize Care and Outcomes during Transfer. American Transplant Congress Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, May 2015
Amaral S. Transitioning Emerging Adults with Nephropathic Cystinosis. Raptor Pharmaceuticals, Austin, TX, May 2015
Amaral S. Combined Organ Transplantation. The Complicated Kidney Transplant Candidate session, Pediatric Academic Societies’ and American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, April 2015
Amaral S. Ethics and Racial Disparities in Organ. Allocation National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting, Dallas, TX, March 2015
Amaral S. Transitioning to Adolescent and Adult Care Nephropathic Cystinosis: New Insights and Approaches to Care. National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting, Dallas, TX, March 2015
Awards and Honors
2016 Castle Connolly Top Doctor, Philadelphia, 2016
2015 Castle Connolly Top Doctor, United States, 2015-2016
2015 Selection to the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Leadership Development Program
2010 Healthcare Heroes Finalist, Physician category, Atlanta Business Chronicle
2010 Guide to America’s Top Pediatricians, Pediatric Nephrology, Consumers’ Research Council of America
2008 Golden Apple Honorable Mention Award, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Health Education Expo, recognizing outstanding accomplishment in healthcare education
2008 Pediatric Research Funding Recipient
- National Institutes of Health Pediatric Loan Repayment Program
- Assessing changes in self-efficacy and racial differences in facilitators and barriers to adherence in a multi-disciplinary kidney transplant clinic
2008 Clinical Innovator Award for New Program Development, Emory University, Department of Pediatrics
2007 Best Doctors in America, 2007-2016
2006 Joseph W. Crooks Faculty Development Award in Children’s Health, Emory University, Department of Pediatrics
2006 National Kidney Foundation Travel Award
2004 National Kidney Foundation Mini-Grant recipient
2003 Renal Disease Epidemiology Training Grant recipient
2002 American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Travel Award
1997 MCP-Hahnemann Student Research Fellowship Award
1995 Primary Care Scholar, Penn. State Univ. College of Medicine, Primary Care Initiative Program
Editorial and Academic Positions
2013-present, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
2011-present, Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
2009-present, American Journal of Transplantation
2008-present, Pediatric Nephrology
2007-present, Pediatric Transplantation
2010-present, Co-leader, Clinical Outcomes and Research in Public Health, Transition of Care Workgroup, Emery University, Department of Pediatrics, Pediatrics Research Center
2013-present, Comprehensive Exam Review Committee Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology Program, the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
2012-present, Co-Leader, Transition Special Interest Group, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Leadership and Memberships
Memberships in Professional Organizations
2005-present, International Pediatric Nephrology Association
2006-present, International Pediatric Transplant Association
CHOP Clinical Trials Research Affinity Group, Advisory committee member
2015-2018, Patient Affairs Committee, At Large Member, Chair of Best Practices in Peer Mentoring Subcommittee
2016 - Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
2007-present American Society of Transplantation
- Pediatric Community of Practice (PCOP) Committee Member (2009-present)
2006-present, American Society of Nephrology
2003-present, American Society of Pediatric Nephrology
- Public Policy Committee Member (2008-present)
- Co-Chair (2015-2018)
- Program Committee, Member (2012-present), Co-Chair (2015-2017), and Chair (2018)
Patient Experience Ratings
About the Patient Experience Rating System
The Patient Experience Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown above from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.
Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.
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