DPLM Faculty Profiles — Dr. Nickeleit

Volker Nickeleit

Volker Nickeleit, MD


Director of the Division of Nephropathology

Director of the Nephropathology Training Program

Office: 919-966-2421

E-mail: volker_nickeleit@med.unc.edu

Research Interests

Our laboratory specializes in the diagnostic and scientific evaluation of kidney diseases (also see J. Charles Jennette, MD). My major interest centers around different aspects of renal allograft pathology and I closely collaborate with other investigators in Switzerland and Italy. One area of my investigations focuses on adjunct markers for the diagnosis of graft rejection in order to better define rejection and minimal threshold levels for the diagnosis of rejection. Over the last few years, we have established a non-human primate model of vascular kidney transplant rejection (i.e. transplant endarteritis). This is an important step since rejection in primates closely mimics changes seen in humans, and vascular rejection is the number one graft killer of kidney and heart transplants. Our next goal is to systematically define cellular responses leading from early intimal inflammation to late intimal scarring. These studies require various immunhistochemical and molecular biological techniques including FISH analyses with primate specific probes. In the past, we defined a new disease entity affecting renal allografts, BK-Virus nephropathy, and introduced surrogate markers into clinical pratice for improved patient management. Future studies will focus on better identifying risk factors for developing BK-virus nephropathy.

Selected Publications

Mihatsch MJ, Nickeleit V, Gudat F. Morphological criteria of chronic renal allograft rejection. Transplant Proc 31 (1-2): 1295-1297, 1999.

Binet IF, Nickeleit V, Prince O, Hirsch HH, Dalquen P, Gudat F, Mihatsch MJ, Thiel G. Polyomavirus disease under new immunosuppressive drugs: a cause of renal graft dysfunction and graft loss. Transplantation 67 (6): 918-922, 1999.

Nickeleit V, Hirsch HH, Binet IF, Gudat F, Prince O, Dalquen P, Thiel G, Mihatsch MJ. Polyomavirus infection of renal allograft recipients: from latent infection to manifest disease. J Am Soc Nephrol 10 (5): 1080-1089, 1999.

Nickeleit V, Hirsch HH, Zeiler M, Gudat F, Prince O, Thiel G, Mihatsch MJ. BK-virus nephropathy in renal transplants - tubular necrosis, MHC-class II expression and rejection in a puzzling game. Nephrol Dial Transplant 15 (3): 324-332, 2000.

Nickeleit V, Klimkait T, Binet IF, Dalquen P, Del Zenero V, Thiel G, Mihatsch MJ, Hirsch HH. Testing for polyomavirus type BK DNA in plasma to identify renal allograft recipients with viral nephropathy. N Engl J Med 342 (18): 1309-1315, 2000.

Mayr M, Nickeleit V, Hirsch HH, Dickenmann M, Mihatsch MJ, Steiger J. Polyomavirus BK nephropathy in a kidney transplant recipient: critical issues of diagnosis and management. Am J Kidney Dis 38 (3): E13, 2001.

Nickeleit V, Zeiler M, Gudat F, Thiel G, Mihatsch MJ. Detection of the complement degradation product C4d in renal allografts: diagnostic and therapeutic implications. J Am Soc Nephrol 13 (1): 242-251, 2002.

Wieczorek G, Menninger K, Riesen S, Mihatsch MJ, Schuurman HJ, Bigaud M, Quesniaux V, Nickeleit V. Chronic renal allograft rejection: a non-human primate model. [Poster : Sixth Banff conference on allograft pathology, April 2001, Banff, Alberta, Canada].