Dr. Susanne Nicholas was born in Trinidad and Tobago and immigrated to the United States to pursue her medical degree. She received a full scholarship to the Harvard Health Professions Program at Harvard University, which was instrumental in her journey to medical school. In 1989, she graduated from the University of California, San Diego with an M.D. and from San Diego State University with an M.P.H. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine, and her Nephrology clinical fellowship training at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She received awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the UNCF Merck Postdoctoral Science Research Fellowship and was in the first graduating class of the UCLA, Scientific Training and Academic Research Fellowship with a Ph.D. in Physiology. She received the first Pfizer Scholars Grant for New Faculty at UCLA and was nominated to the Western Association of Physicians, and Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society. She was recipient of the 2010 Minority Access, Inc. National Role Model Faculty Researcher Award. She is an active member of the Network of the Minority Research Investigators where she serves as mentor to junior minority faculty.

Dr. Nicholas is a tenured Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA and a board certified Nephrologist and Clinical Hypertension Specialist. She has a joint appointment in the Division of Nephrology, where she maintains her clinical responsibilities, and the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, where she conducts her research. She has a joint appointment at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science where she is Co-Director of the NIH-funded AXIS Technology Core. Dr. Nicholas is currently investigating the pathogenic mechanisms of diabetic kidney disease and hypertension and their molecular and morphometric bases. Her long-term goal is to eliminate the disparities in chronic kidney diseases in Blacks. She is involved in a study on the susceptibility genes for diabetes and the linkage relationships to nephropathy and retinopathy in Mexican Americans and African Americans. She has established collaborations locally, nationally and internationally, is well published and serves on several grant review committees.

Dr. Nicholas is passionate about her work in hypertension and chronic kidney disease and uses this as a platform to mentor minority students, fellows and junior faculty. She gives lectures nationally and internationally to students, physicians and other health care providers in basic science and clinical medicine and is recognized for her ability to successfully tailor her message to the audience.

Sample Topics Include:

  • Transitioning through your career: getting appointed advancement and promotion through the academic ranks
  • A Career in Basic Research: Milestones Challenges Successes and Words of Wisdom: a personal journey
  • Combining Compassion and Strength as a Leader
  • Diabetic kidney disease
  • Implications of genetics in health disparities