VF in the News

Dr. Frank Cortazar Heads Up New York Nephrology Vasculitis and Glomerular Center

Frank B. Cortazar, MD, and Jorge Cerda, MD

Frank B. Cortazar, MD, has been named director of a new vasculitis center in the Albany, New York, area. Dr. Cortazar will oversee both clinical and research activities at the New York Nephrology Vasculitis and Glomerular Center, which opened August 1.

There has been a significant need for a v asculitis center in the Albany, New York, area, according to Dr. Cortazar, who is also a nephrologist with St. Peter’s Health Partners in Albany and a clinical research scientist for Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“Given the rarity and complexity of these conditions, patients benefit greatly from being managed by experts at dedicated vasculitis centers,” said Dr. Cortazar. However, there are only a few such centers across the country, he added, and until now, there were none in this geographic region.

“I am privileged to be part of an excellent team,” Dr. Cortazar said. Jorge Cerda, MD, is a fellow nephrologist at the new center, with extensive experience in managing vasculitis patients in addition to being an international authority on acute kidney injury.

“He has been a tireless advocate for the center from the beginning and I am indebted to him for his continued support in making this a reality,” Dr. Cortazar explained. The two have assembled a multidisciplinary team, including specialists in ophthalmology, ENT and pulmonary medicine, which allows them to manage all aspects of care for vasculitis patients.

Dr. Cortazar and his team’s goals include:

  • Providing outstanding care to vasculitis patients and their families
  • Advancing the care of patients by conducting patient-oriented research
  • Educating local physicians with the intent of fostering the early diagnosis and referral of vasculitis patients
  • Creating a local support group for vasculitis patients in the Albany area

“We are equipped to manage all aspects of care for patients with vasculitis,” Dr. Cortazar said. A prime focus is expedited evaluation/ diagnosis and prompt implementation of a tailored immunosuppressive regimen when needed. In addition, research will be a key component of the center, which is in the process of starting the Albany Glomerulonephritis Registry. This is a prospective cohort study that longitudinally (data studied over a period of time) collects disease, treatment and outcome data on patients with vasculitis and glomerular disease.

“All patients treated at the New York Nephrology Vasculitis and Glomerular Center will be offered enrollment,” Dr. Cortazar concluded. “Combining data from the Albany Glomerulonephritis Registry with other registries will allow for rigorous analyses of these rare diseases.” There is also an interest in offering patients enrollment in clinical trials investigating promising novel therapeutics for ANCA-associated vasculitis.

By Nina Silberstein