ASN Foundation for Kidney Research

Biographies

Dimitrios G. Oreopoulos, MD, PhD

Dimitrios G. Oreopoulos, MD, PhD

Dimitrios G. Oreopoulos, MD, PhD, was Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, founder of the Peritoneal Dialysis Program at Toronto Western Hospital, and founding editor of Peritoneal Dialysis International and Humane Medicine. He graduated from the School of Medicine at the University of Athens and received his PhD from Queen's University of Belfast.

Dr. Oreopoulos was widely acknowledged as the foremost expert and proponent of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Although his postdoctoral training focused on mineral metabolism, when he arrived in Toronto he was asked to take over the peritoneal dialysis unit there. He transformed the unit, and indeed the practice of peritoneal dialysis worldwide, over the next four decades.

Using newly developed plastics and fabrics, he was able to realize the full potential of peritoneal dialysis and pioneered use of peritoneal dialysis treatment in children. His work helped avoid numerous perforations in the abdominal wall and significantly reduced pain and the rate of infections compared with previously used techniques. His many research successes simplified peritoneal dialysis treatment, addressed malnourishment issues, reduced risk of infection, and allowed patients to dialyze at home with greater flexibility and freedom of movement.

Dr. Oreopoulos was passionately committed to improving care for geriatric kidney patients as well, and significantly advanced the integration of geriatric medicine into nephrology treatment and practice. He founded the International Society for Geriatric Nephrology and Urology, and served as a driving force in creating the first nephrology training curriculum in geriatric nephrology, and often spoke out on the need to improve care for aging kidney patients.

Dr. Oreopoulos strongly believed in a compassionate and holistic approach to his patients' welfare, and made this a focal point of the teaching for which he was also renowned. He mentored over 100 young nephrologists during the course of his career and through his dedication to these young professionals expanded his already profound influence on nephrology care and research.

Dr. Oreopoulos' selfless dedication to his patients and his drive to innovate and improve their care will inspire the foundation's fellowship program recipients to continue his legacy into the 21st century.