Elaine Ku, MD, MAS

Director, Nephrology Transition Clinic

Dr. Elaine Ku is a nephrologist who cares for adult and pediatric patients with chronic kidney disease or high blood pressure. She directs the Nephrology Transition Clinic, which prepares adolescents who have kidney disease or have received kidney transplants for the transition into adult health care systems.

Ku's research interests include different approaches to diagnosing and managing chronic kidney disease in children versus adults. She is currently studying how blood pressure treatment, obesity and racial disparities affect outcomes for children as opposed to adults with kidney disease.

Ku earned her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. She then completed a residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center and a fellowship in adult and pediatric nephrology at UCSF. She also has a master of advanced studies degree in clinical research from UCSF. During her undergraduate career at UCLA, she was a Regents Scholar, one of the highest honors conferred on students in the UC system.

An assistant professor at UCSF, Ku belongs to the American Society of Nephrology, American Society of Pediatric Nephrology, American Society of Transplantation and American Academy of Pediatrics.


Nephrology and Hypertension Faculty Practice
400 Parnassus Ave., B1 Plaza Level
San Francisco, CA 94143-0532
Phone: (415) 353-2507
Fax: (415) 353-2530

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Board Certification

Internal Medicine

More about Elaine Ku

Additional Languages



UC San Diego School of Medicine 2007
UCSF, M.A.S., Clinical Research 2015


LAC+USC Medical Center, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics 2011


UCSF, Adult and Pediatric Nephrology 2015

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Winnicki E, McCulloch CE, Mitsnefes MM, Furth SL, Warady BA, Ku E. Use of the Kidney Failure Risk Equation to Determine the Risk of Progression to End-stage Renal Disease in Children With Chronic Kidney Disease. JAMA Pediatr. 2017 Dec 18.
  2. Ku E, Kopple JD, Johansen KL, McCulloch CE, Go AS, Xie D, Lin F, Hamm LL, He J, Kusek JW, Navaneethan SD, Ricardo AC, Rincon-Choles H, Smogorzewski M, Hsu CY. Longitudinal Weight Change During CKD Progression and Its Association With Subsequent Mortality. Am J Kidney Dis. 2017 Dec 04.
  3. Ku E, Kopple JD, McCulloch CE, Warady BA, Furth SL, Mak RH, Grimes BA, Mitsnefes M. Associations Between Weight Loss, Kidney Function Decline, and Risk of ESRD in the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD) Cohort Study. Am J Kidney Dis. 2017 Nov 10.
  4. Ku E, Scherzer R, Odden MC, Shlipak M, White CL, Field TS, Benavente O, Pergola PE, Peralta CA. Patterns of blood pressure response during intensive BP lowering and clinical events: results from the secondary prevention of small subcortical strokes trial. Blood Press. 2017 Sep 27; 1-9.
  5. Ku E, Bakris G, Johansen KL, Lin F, Sarnak MJ, Campese VM, Jamerson K, Gassman JJ, Smogorzewski M, Hsu CY. Acute Declines in Renal Function during Intensive BP Lowering: Implications for Future ESRD Risk. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Sep; 28(9):2794-2801.
  6. Ku E, McCulloch CE, Grimes BA, Johansen KL. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Survival of Children with ESRD. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 May; 28(5):1584-1591.
  7. Ku E, Lipkowitz MS, Appel LJ, Parsa A, Gassman J, Glidden DV, Smogorzewski M, Hsu CY. Strict blood pressure control associates with decreased mortality risk by APOL1 genotype. Kidney Int. 2017 Feb; 91(2):443-450.
  8. Ku E, McCulloch CE, Mauer M, Gitelman SE, Grimes BA, Hsu CY. Association Between Blood Pressure and Adverse Renal Events in Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2016 Dec; 39(12):2218-2224.
  9. Ku E, Gassman J, Appel LJ, Smogorzewski M, Sarnak MJ, Glidden DV, Bakris G, Gutiérrez OM, Hebert LA, Ix JH, Lea J, Lipkowitz MS, Norris K, Ploth D, Pogue VA, Rostand SG, Siew ED, Sika M, Tisher CC, Toto R, Wright JT, Wyatt C, Hsu CY. BP Control and Long-Term Risk of ESRD and Mortality. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Feb; 28(2):671-677.
  10. Ku E, Fine RN, Hsu CY, McCulloch C, Glidden DV, Grimes B, Johansen KL. Height at First RRT and Mortality in Children. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 May 06; 11(5):832-9.
  11. Ku E, Xie D, Shlipak M, Hyre Anderson A, Chen J, Go AS, He J, Horwitz EJ, Rahman M, Ricardo AC, Sondheimer JH, Townsend RR, Hsu CY. Change in Measured GFR Versus eGFR and CKD Outcomes. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 Jul; 27(7):2196-204.
  12. Ku E, Glidden DV, Hsu CY, Portale AA, Grimes B, Johansen KL. Association of Body Mass Index with Patient-Centered Outcomes in Children with ESRD. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 Feb; 27(2):551-8.
  13. Ku E, Johansen KL, Portale AA, Grimes B, Hsu CY. State level variations in nephrology workforce and timing and incidence of dialysis in the United States among children and adults: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Nephrol. 2015 Jan 15; 16:2.
  14. Ku E, Glidden DV, Johansen KL, Sarnak M, Tighiouart H, Grimes B, Hsu CY. Association between strict blood pressure control during chronic kidney disease and lower mortality after onset of end-stage renal disease. Kidney Int. 2015 May; 87(5):1055-60.
  15. Ku E, Thomas M, Ho CH, Whipple NS, Abdul-Rahman O, Megason GC, Herrington BL, Carmody JB, Charlton JR. Index of suspicion. Case 1: fever, diarrhea, jaundice, and confusion in an 18-year-old male. Case 2: severe anemia in a 6-month-old girl. Case 3: red urine in a 4-month-old boy. Pediatr Rev. 2014 Mar; 35(3):129-35.
  16. Hsu RK, McCulloch CE, Ku E, Dudley RA, Hsu CY. Regional variation in the incidence of dialysis-requiring AKI in the United States. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Sep; 8(9):1476-81.
  17. Ku E, Campese V. Is lipid management effective for all stages of CKD?. Blood Purif. 2013; 35(1-3):26-30.
  18. Ku E, Ananthapanyasut W, Campese VM. IgA nephropathy in a patient with ulcerative colitis, Graves' disease and positive myeloperoxidase ANCA. Clin Nephrol. 2012 Feb; 77(2):146-50.
  19. Campese VM, Ku E, Bigazzi R, Bianchi S. Do HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors improve kidney function? The saga continues. J Nephrol. 2011 Sep-Oct; 24(5):550-3.
  20. Campese VM, Ku E, Park J. Sympathetic renal innervation and resistant hypertension. Int J Hypertens. 2011 Jan 20; 2011:814354.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.