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Afshin Parsa, MD, MPH

Academic Title:

Adjunct Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:



UMMS, N3W143

Phone (Primary):

(410) 328-5720


(410) 328-5685

Education and Training

Afshin Parsa, MD, MPH received his Medical Degree from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in NJ and his Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Parsa completed his training in internal medicine at the Brown University, Miriam Hospital in RI. He then completed his clinical nephrology and research fellowship training at the University of California, San Francisco, with a research focus in genetic epidemiology.

Dr. Parsa joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2006. His primary appointment is within the Department of Medicine and Division of Nephrology. Dr. Parsa is also a member of the Program in Personalized and Genomic Medicine.

Research/Clinical Keywords

My primary research interest pertains to genetic and molecular factors that contribute to chronic renal disease progression and renal related traits. Additional research interests include blood pressure regulation and vascular health. By using genome-wide association study (GWAS) and candidate gene based approaches in several thousand individuals with established chronic kidney from the CRIC study whom have been prospectively followed over time, we have been able to identify multiple promising candidate genes that are associated with differential rate of renal disease progression, as well as identify genetic factors associated with ancestry based racial differences in renal disease progression. I have also been working within several large scale multi-national GWAS based consortiums that have been studying genetic contributions to renal function, blood pressure, serum uric acid, serum osmolality and several other variables. These large scale collaborative efforts have led to the discovery of over one hundred novel genes. A recent focus of research relates to using metabolomics based molecular profiling as a means to discover new biomarkers and delineate underlying pathophysiologic pathways related to renal transplant rejection and renal disease progression. The overarching goal of this work is to better understand individual factors, such as genetic background, that pertain to differential renal function related outcomes in seemingly similar individuals and improve on our ability to tailor and personalize treatment plans for each distinct patient.

Highlighted Publications

Parsa A, Kao WH, Xie D, Astor BC, Li M, Hsu CY, Feldman HI, Parekh RS, Kusek JW, Greene TH, Fink JC, Anderson AH, Choi MJ, Wright JT Jr, Lash JP, Freedman BI, Ojo A, Winkler CA, Raj DS, Kopp JB, He J, Jensvold NG, Tao K, Lipkowitz MS, Appel LJ; the AASK and CRIC Study Investigators. APOL1Risk Variants, Race and progression of Chronic Kidney Disease Progression.

N Engl J Med. 2013 2013 Dec 5. Dec 5;369(23):2183-96.

Parsa A, Kanetsky PA, Xiao R, Gupta J, Mitra N, Limou S, Xie D, Xu H, Anderson AH, Ojo A, Kusek JW, Lora CM, Hamm LL, He J, Sandholm N, Jeff J, Raj DE, Böger CA, Bottinger E, Salimi S, Parekh RS, Adler SG, Langefeld CD, Bowden DW; FIND Consortium., Groop PH, Forsblom C, Freedman BI, Lipkowitz M, Fox CS, Winkler CA, Feldman HI; and the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study Investigators. Genome Wide Association of Chronic Kidney Disease Progression: The CRIC StudyJ Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 Oct 11

Parsa A, Brown E, Weir, MR, Fink J, Shuldiner AR, Mitchell B, McArdle P. Genotype based change in serum uric acid affect blood pressureKidney Int. 2012, Mar;81(5):502-7.

Parsa A, Fuchsberger C, Kottgen et al. (over 150 authors).  Common Variants in Mendelian Kidney Disease Genes and Their Association with Renal Function and CKDJ Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Dec;24(12):2105-17.


Search Full List of Publications in Pub Med

Additional Publication Citations

Köttgen A, Pattaro C, Böger C.A., Fuchsberger C, Olden M, Glazer N.L., Parsa A, et al. for a total of 133 authors (Parsa A, was one of 10 members of the writing group and a member of the executive CKDgen Steering Committee).  Multiple New Loci Associated with Kidney Function and Chronic Kidney Disease: The CKDGen consortiumNat Genet. 2010 Apr 11.  

Shuldiner AR, O'Connell JR, Bliden KP, Gandhi A, Ryan K, Horenstein RB, Damcott CM, Pakyz R, Tantry US, Gibson Q, Pollin TI, Post W, Parsa A, Mitchell BD, Faraday N, Herzog W, Gurbel PA. Association of cytochrome P450 2C19 genotype with the antiplatelet effect and clinical efficacy of clopidogrel therapy.  JAMA. 2009 Aug 26;302(8):849-57.

McArdle PF, Whitcomb BW, Tanner K, Mitchell BD, Shuldiner AR, Parsa A. Association between bilirubin and cardiovascular disease risk  factors: using Mendelian randomization to assess causal inference. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2012 Mar 14;12:16

Ehret GB, Munroe PB, Rice KM, Bochud M, ...., Parsa A et al. (23 rd of 351 authors).  Genetic variants in novel pathways influence blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk.  The International Consortium for Blood Pressure Genome-Wide Association Studies.  Nature. 2011, Sep 11.