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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Florida International Doctoral Student Receives Outstanding Award at the 2018 National Kidney Foundation Spring Conference

Ms. Janet Diaz-Martinez, a doctoral student in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at Florida International University’s (FIU) Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, received the Outstanding Award for her poster and presentation at the 2018 National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting in Austin, TX. More than 2,500 healthcare professionals attended the conference to learn about the newest developments in nephrology through cutting-edge research presentations.

[Photo: Ms. Janet Diaz-Martinez]

Ms. Diaz-Martinez was awarded for her research abstract titled, “Novel Marker of Inflammation and its Association with Dietary Intake and Nutritional Status in Hemodialysis Patients,” which examines the relationship between nutrition and inflammation status of hemodialysis patients in conjunction with diet quality and health outcomes.

Her research received considerable attention at the conference because it is the first study to examine the association between inflammation status and the nutritional quality and quantity of diets among hemodialysis patients.

Hemodialysis is a medical treatment that filters waste and water from the blood of patients who have lost all kidney function and are in end-stage renal disease. If they can reveal a relationship between inflammation status and nutrition through the novel marker known as neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, medical professionals and renal dietitians can and should develop new tools to help patients minimize or prevent future damage.

Her research team is investigating the potential use of the abovementioned novel marker for its prognostic value, which warrants a longitudinal follow-up. The research design is a one-year prospective study where morbidity and mortality of patients in maintenance hemodialysis will be compared.

All posters and abstracts at the conference were eligible for the Outstanding Award and judged on-site by a designated committee. Diaz-Martinez received a ribbon, $200 and a publication in the March 2018 issue of the Journal of Renal Nutrition (JRN). Novel Marker of Inflammation and its Association with Nutritional Status and Dietary Intake in Hemodialysis Patients, Journal of Renal Nutrition, Volume 28, Issue 2, 140]

“It was a great opportunity,” said Diaz-Martinez. “Sharing research and exchanging ideas at the conference as a Stempel College doctoral student was a great honor.”

Diaz-Martinez is inspired to see the growing role of clinical/renal dietitians in the current healthcare landscape, as dieticians play a critical role in enhancing the quality of care and improving health outcomes of their patients with kidney disease and other chronic conditions.