A Historic Partnership

In 2011, Jonathan Himmelfarb and Buddy Ratner began envisioning the Center for Dialysis Innovation. However, the roots of the team story date back to the 1950’s with the Seattle collaboration of physician (Belding Scribner), bioengineer (Wayne Quinton) and chemical engineer (Lester Babb). This multidisciplinary team developed practical kidney dialysis and launched the world’s first hemodialysis center, today known as Northwest Kidney Centers. Staring 1967 Dr. Ratner pursued his Ph.D. thesis on kidney dialysis membranes and then came to the UW where he started programs on blood compatibility and biocompatibility. In the 1990’s Dr. Himmelfarb published numerous articles on hemodialysis inflammation, thrombosis and vascular access. Thus, foundations for the team were based on common interests and extensive experience in areas critical to dialysis. Himmelfarb and Ratner joined forces to revolutionize kidney dialysis, inspired by the birthplace of kidney dialysis. Other components of the CDI team include researchers from the NSF-funded University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials (UWEB) program and the UW Kidney Research Institute (KRI).