University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Spotlight Profile

Current Spotlight Profile

Maureen Wakeen, APNP

Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Graduate: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Current Position: Advance Practice Provider, Dialysis Program Coordinator

Why did you choose Nephrology?
I love the complexity of the patients. You really need to use skills in ID, vascular, cardiology, endocrine...keeps it new and interesting.

If you could be an animal, what would it be and why?
Hard to choose, have to say two. An eagle since they are powerful and can fly! And our pet rabbit Licorice because she is living the good life! All hugs, no work!

What part of the nephron would you like to be and why?
Proximal tubule because they have to think so hard to make all the right choices.

What is the best concert you have attended?
QUEEN in their Bohemian Rhapsody tour. AMAZING.

What is one thing on your bucket list that you would like to do within the next year?
Travel to my family in Colorado. COVID has kept us apart.

Past Spotlight Profiles

James Alstott, MD

Medical School: University of Iowa College of Medicine
Residency: Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Current Position: General Nephrology Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Why did you choose Nephrology?
Nephrology has fascinating and challenging pathophysiology! I've also been impressed by how much trust and confidence patients with kidney disease have with their nephrology team members (nurses, social work, nutrition, pharmacy, APPs, physicians); likewise, how dedicated the nephrology team members are to their patients. I've also had great experiences over my time in medical education and training with nephrologists who were fantastic clinicians and teachers.

What part of the nephron would you be and why?
Tough question - I'll go with juxtaglomeruloapparatus. First, the name just sounds so cool. The JGA is close to where all the action is; plus, it's critical for regulating GFR and the RAAS system. The JGA is the hero the nephron doesn't deserve but needs!

What is something you cannot live without?
Salty snacks...thank you kidneys for regulating my salt balance!

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Travel the world to interesting places to learn more about history, art, architecture, and religion, as well as eating lots of local cuisine along the way!

What do you do to unwind after a long day or week at work?
Head out to a county or state park for a hike followed by a meal from a Madison restaurant enjoyed with a cold beer.

Nishkarsh Saxena, MBBS

Medical School: Kasturba Medical College Manipal
Residency: McLaren Hospital/MSU
General Nephrology Fellowship: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Current Position: The Nephrology Group, Inc., Bakersfield, CA

Why did you choose Nephrology?
It comes down to the satisfaction derived from challenges in the field. It may be applications of core principles of physiology and immunology. I also feel it's something that clicked with my temperament.

What is one fun fact about you?
A simple text notification or invitation to play tennis in the evening gives me a "nitro boost." Even a busy day seems like a breeze. That's my other love.

What part of the nephron would you be and why?
Collecting duct - although glomerulus may be the most intricate and studied part of the nephron, distal nephron seems to be an underappreciated warrior. It's so intricately involved in maintaining Na-K, H2O balance, BP control, and acid base balance.

What is one thing on your bucket list that you would like to do within the next year?
Visit Japan - I am somehow connected to it in a spiritual way.

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Elephant - always. Grace, size, intelligence, amazing memory, gentility - all combined in one being.

Tripti Singh, MBBS

Medical School: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Dehli, India
Residency: Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
General Nephrology Fellowship: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship: University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Current Position: Lupus Nephritis Clinic Director, Acute Inpatient Dialysis Unit Medical Director, Associate Fellowship Program Director, Assistant Professor

Why did you choose Nephrology?
Due to my mentor during residency which influenced my decision to do nephrology. I also felt at home when hanging out with nephrologists J. But probably the most important reason was that I could see patients in an ICU, in clinic, and in the dialysis unit all in the same week (hopefully not on the same day!)

What is your favorite thing about Madison?
That I can walk to work! Probably not a lot of places you can do this anywhere in the country or even in the world!

What part of the nephron would you be and why?
I would be the cortical collecting duct, this is where all the magic/change happens in the nephron!!

What is one thing on your bucket list that you would like to do within the next year?
Travel to Japan (pushed that one year due to COVID)

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Do your best and don't focus on outcomes.

Laura Maursetter, DO

Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
General Nephrology Fellowship: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Current Position: Associate Professor (UW-Madison), Fellowship Training Program Director, Clinical Chief of Nephrology at William S. Middleton Veteran's Administration, Medical Director Divine Savior Healthcare Dialysis

What is your favorite thing about Madison?
It is a welcoming place that brings together people who have been on very different journeys. The cheese curds would be a close second.

Why did you choose Nephrology?
It was challenging, evolving, never boring: I could see very stable outpatients as well as the sickest people in the ICU in the same day. It also gave me continuity and the long-term relationships I found desirable in primary care.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough.

What part of the nephron would you be and why?
Forget the nephron, I would be the podocyte. They are beautiful, diverse, and nothing can happen in the nephron without them.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Open a camp on a mountain lake and plan activities for everyone who came to visit.

Allan Jhagroo, MD

Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine, Bridgetown, Barbados
Residency: UCONN Medical Residency Program, Farmington, CT
General Nephrology Fellowship: Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY
Current Position: Assistant Professor (UW-Madison), Medical Director or Wisconsin Dialysis, CKD Clinic Director, Metabolic Stone Clinic Director, Inpatient Dialysis Associate Director, Dialysis Medical Director (American Center)

What is your favorite thing about Madison?
That it is not crowded.

What three things would you take on a deserted island?
Lays Potato Chips, Pepperoni Pizza, Orange Soda.

What is the best concert you have attended?
Metallica and Guns and Roses

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Move to Turks and Caicos.

What is one thing on your bucket list that you would like to do within the next year?
Hike the Grand Canyon.

Brenda Muth, APNP

Associate Degree: Blackhawk Technical College, Nursing
Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Graduate: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Master of Science with specialty as Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Current Position: Advanced Practice Provider, Transplant Nephrology Consult Service

Why did you choose Nephrology?
I didn't choose nephrology, nephrology chose me!

What is one fun fact about you?
I love to kayak.

What is the best concert you have attended?
Jimmy Buffet at Alpine Valley

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
From my Dad: whatever project I engage in, see it to completion.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Donate to my favorite charities, and share with our 4 boys and 6 grandkids.

Sandesh Parajuli, MBBS

Medical School: B.P. Koriala Institute of Health Sciences, Medical School, Dharan, Nepal
Residency: Interfaith Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
General Nephrology Fellowship: University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY
Transplant Nephrology Fellowship: Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Current Position: Assistant Professor (UW-Madison), Director of Delayed Graft Function Clinic (UW Transplant Clinic), Associate Medical Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program (UWHC)

Why did you choose Nephrology?
Evolving field. Because of Transplant.

What is your favorite thing about Madison?
Traffic is light, city is diverse.

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Fish - colorful and free.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
You can't please everyone.

What is one thing on your bucket list that you would like to do within the next year?
Travel to South America.

Amanda Valliant, MD

Medical School: University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS
Residency: University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS
General Nephrology Fellowship: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Interventional Nephrology Fellowship: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Current Position: Wichita Nephrology Group, Wichita, KS

Why did you choose Nephrology?
Variety! I have long-term relationships with patients, see them in the ICU when they are most in need of critical care, and am able to help with their vascular access needs. Never a dull moment!

What is your favorite thing about Madison?
Concerts on the Square and walking/riding with the kids down by the lakes.

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Definitely a cat - they do what they want, when they want, and never apologize.

What part of the nephron would you be and why?
The proximal convoluted tubule - this is where all the magic happens with salt and water!

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Fund and expand the food pantry at my church, open a dialysis clinic for undocumented patients who have no access to traditional dialysis chairs in our community.

Kurtis Swanson, MD

Medical School: University of Iowa College of Medicine
Residency: Medical College of Wisconsin
General Nephrology Fellowship: University of WI-Madison
Current Position: Transplant Nephrology Fellow, University of WI-Madison

Why did you choose Nephrology?
Always had an inkling towards nephrology, complex physiology. However, my interest really took off as a resident taking care of patients with renal issues and working with fantastic mentors, faculty, teachers.

What part of the nephron would you be and why?
Macula Densa. Incredible physiologic system that maintains GFR with varying arterial pressure and is a model of maintaining the course/steadiness despite change. Not to mention the name sounds like a sinister villain in the Star Wars Universe.

What is your favorite thing about Madison?
Venues for live music in and around the area: North Street Cabaret, Stoughton Opera House, Sylvee, Barrymore, etc.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
"If you ain't first, you're last" - Ricky Bobby. Seriously probably my dad basically saying work life balance is everything and to not take your health for granted.

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Osprey. Tend to be introverted, analytical, and we both like to fish!

Emily Joachim, MD

Medical School: University of Colorado
Residency: University of WI-Madison
General Nephrology Fellowship: University of WI-Madison
Transplant Nephrology Fellowship: University of WI-Madison
Current Position: Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, WI

What is one fun fact about you?
I am a classically trained violinist and violist and wanted to be a professional musician before I went to medical school.

What part of the nephron would you be and why?
I think I would like to be the distal convoluted tubule - maybe not as flashy as the proximal tubule, but works hard and things go badly if it doesn't work well!

What is the best concert you have attended?
The Strumbellas at the Majestic in Madison! I got to see them twice.

If I am not working, I am
at Lake Mendota, sailing, racing, or teaching sailing at Hoofers Sailing Club.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." Reminds me to slow down and remember why I am doing what I am doing at work or in my daily life.

Amber Hertz-Tang, MD, MPH

Medical School: University of WI-Madison
Residency: University of WI-Madison
General Nephrology Fellowship: University of WI-Madison
Current Position: Northwest Renal Clinics, Portland, OR

Why did you choose Nephrology?
Excellent mentorship and role models. I was excited by even the more "boring" aspects of nephrology and knew I would continue to be thrilled by this specialty my whole career.

What part of the nephron would you be and why?
Proximal tubule, I love sugar and this way I could reabsorb it all.

What is your favorite thing about Madison?
Fish fry year-round, people bike in 3 feet of snow, epidemic kindness.

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Technically I am an animal. Ha! But a kangaroo rat can concentrate its urine to >10,000 mOsm/kg to the point they survive on nearly zero free water from fat metabolized in seeds. That would be handy when you are busy on Acutes.

What would your career have been if you had not gone into medicine?
Park Ranger. Cool hats and they get to hike all day (I actually applied out of college, but I ended up pursuing a different opportunity instead).