Recipient of the 2024 Louis W. Sullivan, MD, Award: Deidra C. Crews, MD, ScM

Deidra C. Crews, MD, ScM
Dr. Crews

The American Society for Clinical Investigation is pleased to recognize Deidra C. Crews, MD, ScM, as the recipient of the 2024 Louis W. Sullivan, MD, Award, for her scientific contributions to addressing disparities in the care and outcomes of kidney disease and hypertension. Dr. Crews, who will be recognized at the 2024 AAP/ASCI/APSA Joint Meeting, receives an honorarium of $10,000, and delivers a scientific talk at the 2025 meeting.

Dr. Crews is a nephrologist and epidemiologist and among the most influential researchers worldwide advancing kidney health equity. Her seminal studies (among >250 publications) show: low socioeconomic status (SES) differentially impacts CKD risk and associated mortality among Black versus White Americans; limited access to healthy foods and housing insecurity are potent risk factors for poor CKD outcomes; diet quality impacts CKD risk especially for minoritized persons with low SES; perceived discrimination is associated with progressive loss of kidney function; and functional status of older and low SES adults with kidney failure is improved through a novel home-based intervention. She led studies to define the optimal level of kidney function at which kidney replacement therapy should be initiated, contributing to reversal of the US practice of initiating dialysis in patients still with significant residual kidney function. She led a dietary intervention trial for Black adults with CKD, hypertension and low SES whose results could solidify dietary modification as recommended therapy for this population. She is deputy director of a model health equity research center and co-PI of two NIH center awards focused on advancing equity in kidney and cardio-metabolic diseases.

As a Black American descendant of enslaved people with a strong family history of kidney disease, I have devoted my career to improving the kidney health of people from socially marginalized groups and to advancing inclusive excellence in the biomedical workforce.

— Dr. Crews

Dr. Susan E. Quaggin nominated Dr. Crews for the Award, stating, “Her work has informed clinical guidelines and has catalyzed the study of social drivers of disparities in chronic kidney disease.” Dr. Quaggin emphasized the influence of Dr. Crews’ work and the accolades she has received for exceptional research, leadership, and mentorship, such as the Johns Hopkins University President’s Frontier Award, election to the National Academy of Medicine (2023), and the Distinguished Leader Award from the American Society of Nephrology, an organization for which Dr. Crews is the first Black president.

Dr. Crews earned her BA from the University of Virginia and her MD from Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She completed a nephrology fellowship and a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology at Johns Hopkins, where she was selected as a Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Scholar, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Crews is now Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She holds appointments in the School of Nursing; the Department of Epidemiology; the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research; the Center on Aging and Health; and the Center for Health Equity, where she is Deputy Director. She was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2020.