Matthew A. Sparks, MD

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

My lab is interested in understanding how both the renin angiotensin and prostanoid systems regulate blood pressure by altering blood flow to the kidney. My lab utilizes 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 is funded by a career development award from the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development (IK2BX002240) and a Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association. In my role as Director of Undergraduate Medical 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 also serve as the Associate Program Director for the Nephrology Fellowship Program.

I'm also interested finding ways to promote medical education. My focus is on leveraging social media to enhance learning in nephrology. I am a faculty member of the Nephrology Social Media Collective (NSMC) and member of the online nephrology journal club (NephJC). 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 edutainment project NephMadness. Past deputy editor of Renal Fellow Network where I continue to remain an advocate for the site and author the yearly “Top Nephrology Stories of the Year”. I am currently a member of the Communications and Media Committee of the American Society of Nephrology, the American Heart Association and am a fellow of the American Society of Nephrology 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

Nephrology Fellowship Program

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


Panigrahy, Dipak, Allison Gartung, Jun Yang, Haixia Yang, Molly M. Gilligan, Megan L. Sulciner, Swati S. Bhasin, et al. “Preoperative stimulation of resolution and inflammation blockade eradicates micrometastases..” J Clin Invest 129, no. 7 (June 17, 2019): 2964–79.

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Shah, Roopa, and Matthew A. Sparks. “Renin-angiotensin system inhibition in advanced chronic kidney disease: how low can the kidney function go?.” Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens 28, no. 2 (March 2019): 171–77.

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Herrera, Marcela, Ting Yang, Matthew A. Sparks, Michael W. Manning, Beverly H. Koller, and Thomas M. Coffman. “Complex Role for E-Prostanoid 4 Receptors in Hypertension..” J Am Heart Assoc 8, no. 4 (February 19, 2019).

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Farouk, Samira, and Matthew A. Sparks. “Editorial commentary: The public physician in cardiology: The solution to information pollution..” Trends Cardiovasc Med, February 14, 2019.

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Carlson, David A., Miriam R. Singer, Cindy Sutherland, Clara Redondo, Leila T. Alexander, Philip F. Hughes, Stefan Knapp, et al. “Targeting Pim Kinases and DAPK3 to Control Hypertension..” Cell Chem Biol 25, no. 10 (October 18, 2018): 1195-1207.e32.

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Wolf, Erin, Edward J. Diaz, Alison N. Hollis, Thien A. Hoang, Hooman A. Azad, Katharine M. Bendt, Robert C. Griffiths, and Matthew A. Sparks. “Vascular type 1 angiotensin receptors control blood pressure by augmenting peripheral vascular resistance in female mice..” Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 315, no. 4 (October 1, 2018): F997–1005.

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Colbert, Gates B., Joel Topf, Kenar D. Jhaveri, Tom Oates, Michelle N. Rheault, Silvi Shah, Swapnil Hiremath, and Matthew A. Sparks. “The Social Media Revolution in Nephrology Education..” Kidney Int Rep 3, no. 3 (May 2018): 519–29.

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Lerma, Edgar V., Matthew A. Sparks, and Joel Topf. Nephrology Secrets, 2018.