Matthew A. Sparks, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Campus mail 2 Genome Court, Msrb2 Room 1013, Box 103015, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 684-9737
Email address

I serve as the Program Director for the Nephrology Fellowship Program. My goal is to work with each fellow to ensure they develop a successful career in whatever direction they choose. In my role as Director of Medical Student Research in the Department of Medicine I help promote research in the Department of Medicine during the 3rd year of medical school at Duke University. I am the lead for the newly established Society for Early Education Scholars (SEEDS) in the Department of Medicine. The SEEDS Program is a year-long mentored education program designed for fellows planning careers as clinician educators or education scholars.

Nephrology Fellowship Program

My laboratory is interested in understanding how both the renin-angiotensin and prostanoid systems regulate blood pressure by altering blood flow to the kidney. We use a combination of physiologic and molecular techniques in genetically modified mice to probe questions about how changes in the micro circulation in the kidney alter sodium excretion. The overarching goal of this research is to identify novel mechanisms to target drug therapy for patients with hypertension. My research has been funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development and the American Heart Association. We also explore the link between pulmonary hypertension and CKD.

Sparks Laboratory Website

I'm also interested finding ways to promote medical education. My focus is on leveraging social media to enhance learning in nephrology. I serve as the co-program director of the Nephrology Social Media Collective (NSMC) and member of the board of directors of nephrology journal club (NephJC), a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing free online medical education in nephrology. I am also co-founder and advisory board member of the first nephrology blog associated with a journal- AJKD blog, the official blog of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Co-creator of the popular educational project NephMadness. Past deputy editor of Renal Fellow Network where I continue to remain as faculty lead. I am currently a member of the Nephrology Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the Scientific and Clinical Education Lifelong learning Committee Chair, Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease Council of the American Heart Association and am a fellow of the American Society of Nephrology, the American Heart Association, and the National Kidney Foundation. 

I serve as Education Director for KIDNEYcon- a yearly hands-on conference dedicated to advances in nephrology held in Little Rock, AR each April.

@Nephro_Sparks on Twitter

Education and Training

  • Fellow in Nephrology, Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, 2007 - 2011
  • Chief Resident, Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, 2006 - 2007
  • Resident, Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, 2003 - 2006
  • M.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, 2003


DeOliveira, Margaret, Colby Feeney, Caroline Leahy, Sarah Nystrom, David N. Howell, Samira S. Farouk, Ming Wu, Opeyemi A. Olabisi, and Matthew A. Sparks. “Collapsing Glomerulopathy in Identical Twins With Lupus and High-Risk Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) Genotype.” Kidney Int Rep 6, no. 9 (September 2021): 2501–4.

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Amin, Krunal, Vinay Choksi, Samira S. Farouk, and Matthew A. Sparks. “Diarrhea in a Patient With Combined Kidney-Pancreas Transplant.” Am J Kidney Dis 78, no. 2 (August 2021): A13–16.

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Xiong, Xinyu, Nour Nazo, Ritika Revoori, Sudarshan Rajagopal, and Matthew A. Sparks. “G protein- and β-arrestin Signaling Profiles of Endothelin Derivatives at the Type A Endothelin Receptor.” Kidney360 2, no. 7 (July 29, 2021): 1124–31.

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Rianto, F., and M. A. Sparks. “Shining more light on RAS inhibition during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 16, no. 7 (July 1, 2021): 1002–4.

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Hassler, Luise, Fabiola Reyes, Matthew Sparks, Paul Welling, and Daniel Batlle. “Evidence For and Against Direct Kidney Infection by SARS-CoV-2 in Patients with COVID-19.” Clin J Am Soc Nephrol, June 14, 2021.

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Rianto, Fitra, Thien Hoang, Ritika Revoori, and Matthew A. Sparks. “Angiotensin receptors in the kidney and vasculature in hypertension and kidney disease.” Mol Cell Endocrinol 529 (June 1, 2021): 111259.

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Sparks, Matthew A., Emre Dilmen, Donna L. Ralph, Fitra Rianto, Thien A. Hoang, Alison Hollis, Edward J. Diaz, et al. “Vascular control of kidney epithelial transporters.” Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 320, no. 6 (June 1, 2021): F1080–92.

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Kirby, Brett S., Matthew A. Sparks, Eduardo R. Lazarowski, Denise A. Lopez Domowicz, Hongmei Zhu, and Timothy J. McMahon. “Pannexin 1 channels control the hemodynamic response to hypoxia by regulating O2-sensitive extracellular ATP in blood.” Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 320, no. 3 (March 1, 2021): H1055–65.

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