ASN's Mission

To create a world without kidney diseases, the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health elevates care by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world.

learn more

Contact ASN

1401 H St, NW, Ste 900, Washington, DC 20005


The Latest on X

About ASN

Arab American Heritage Month

ASN celebrates Arab American Heritage Month by highlighting influential Arab American members within the nephrology community.

April 2023

Nada Alachkar, MD, FASN


  • Associate Professor of Medicine. 
  • Transplant nephrologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • Clinician with clinical and research focus on recurrent GN post transplant and incompatible kidney transplant.

What does Arab American Heritage Month mean to you?

As a Syrian immigrant, I acknowledge the significance of Arab American Heritage Month as an essential step toward promoting the inclusion of Arab physicians in diversity initiatives within academia and other scientific organizations. Historically, Arab physicians and scientists have been classified as part of the white race; however, they have frequently been treated as foreigners, which has led to their exclusion from the advantages and opportunities offered to other diverse groups. Consequently, it is crucial to recognize and address these disparities to ensure equitable representation and support for Arab professionals in the scientific community.

How has ASN impacted you as an Arab American?

As an Arab American, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has positively impacted my professional growth. Through the organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion, I have connected with fellow professionals with similar backgrounds, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie within the nephrology community. Furthermore, ASN's dedication to providing educational resources and networking opportunities has facilitated my career advancement and enabled me to contribute my unique perspectives and expertise to the field. Overall, ASN's efforts have not only enriched my experience as an Arab American nephrologist but have also paved the way for greater representation and inclusion of diverse voices in the scientific community.

What additional diversity initiatives, programming, and support would you like to see from ASN?

I would appreciate seeing the following additional diversity initiatives, programming, and support from the American Society of Nephrology (ASN):

  • Targeted mentorship programs: Establish mentorship programs specifically aimed at underrepresented minorities, including Arab Americans, to facilitate connections with experienced professionals in the field who can provide guidance and support.
  • Cultural competency training: Offer workshops and webinars focused on cultural competency to educate members about the unique challenges faced by diverse populations, foster empathy, and promote inclusive practices within the nephrology community.
  • Diversity scholarships and grants: Provide scholarships, grants, or funding opportunities specifically for underrepresented minority students and professionals, enabling them to attend conferences, pursue research projects, or engage in other career-enhancing activities.
  • Networking events: Organize networking events or social gatherings at conferences that cater to diverse groups, allowing for relationship-building and the exchange of ideas among professionals with similar backgrounds.
  • Highlight diverse voices: Feature the work and accomplishments of underrepresented minority professionals in ASN publications, webinars, and conferences, showcasing their contributions and inspiring others from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in nephrology.
  • Collaborate with diverse organizations: Partner with other organizations that represent and advocate for diverse populations, sharing resources, best practices, and creating opportunities for collaboration.
  • Periodic assessment and feedback: Regularly assess the effectiveness of diversity initiatives and gather feedback from diverse ASN members to continuously improve and adapt the organization's efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.

Nader Ismail, DO


I am a first-year nephrology fellow at the University of Chicago. I am also Arab American. I grew up only speaking minimal Arabic at home. Still, I am actively working on improving my Arabic language skills and trying to practice it with my Arabic speaking patients when I can. I have found this language journey much like fellowship; challenging but rewarding. It is a great way to build rapport with patients to make a more personal connection and hopefully improve their difficult experience, even if only a little. Like my nephrology training, my Arabic skills still have a ways to go, but I am enthusiastic about the journey and remind myself to try to enjoy every day.

What does Arab American Heritage Month mean to you?

I appreciate highlighting the contributions of our rich communities. There are many who came before me and paved the way for my generation of doctors. Arab Americans played an important role in the American tapestry and our contributions should be celebrated. It inspires me to try to make my impact and pave a path for others to come after me.

How has ASN impacted you as an Arab American?

ASN has been a great resource for me in my fellowship with its online education component. Arab Americans are represented in the organization and educational roles. I appreciate the representation and enrichment it brings to the profession.

What additional diversity initiatives, programming, and support would you like to see from ASN?

Community based mentorship programs would be great.

Naeim Salah, MD


I am a proud Arab and Muslim nephrologist who is lucky to have a great wife and kids, surrounded with great mentors and friends. I consider myself a patriot. I worked very hard to establish myself and be a successful nephrologist.

I studied in the former USSR, graduated from Latvia, completed my medicine and nephrology training in Jordan. I worked in several countries in the Middle East, including Jordan and Saudi Arabia. I applied to many programs in North America, to get the best knowledge to be able to help my community. After more than 10 years of working hard and never giving up, I got accepted to the nephrology program at the University of Toronto. Since then, I was lucky to get, and still receive, full support from my mentors and colleagues. 

I hope that I can help and support my people the same way my mentors did and still do.

There are no limits to whatever I can and want to do as long I am breathing.

That is my story in brief.

What does Arab American Heritage Month mean to you?

Acknowledgement, celebration, contributions, continuation of Arab culture, and achievements across North America.

How has ASN impacted you as an Arab American?

ASN has provided continuous education for me to support my community in North America and in the Arab world.

Rabia Sbaiti, MD, FASN


  • Practicing nephrology in central Pennsylvania since 2004. 
  • Chief of nephrology and medical director of acute dialysis services at UPMC Central Pennsylvania.

What additional diversity initiatives, programming, and support would you like to see from ASN?

I appreciate the gesture and the recognition of Arab American Heritage month by the ASN.