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Deborah Price Jones, M.D. M.S.At first meeting, pediatric nephrologist Deborah Price Jones projects a personality of calm and control.  Get her talking about kidneys and her demeanor changes. As she pulls up a scanning electron microscope image of a glomerulus on her computer, the pace of her words quicken and her hands animate the weave of blood vessels seen in the micrograph. 

"Look at the incredible complexity of this tiny filter," says Jones, describing the image like a painter explaining a work of art. "See how the capillaries intertwine. I understand why kidneys were called the seat of the soul." 

She rummages through a pile of papers near her desk to find a 1939 volume on the evolution of the kidney by Homer W. Smith.  Quickly flipping through the pages, she explains the historic relevance of the text. Her descriptions of kidney physiology might peg her as strictly a scholar, but much of her work is in the patient care side of medicine.  About 80 percent of her job at Vanderbilt is centered on clinical work and teaching.

"A good work day for me is a morning in the clinic followed by reviewing patient problems with my fellow division members," says Jones. "I came to Vanderbilt for an opportunity to work with some exceptional faculty and to share in the scholarly work happening around the University."

As she talks about her possible clinical research, an affinity for problem solving and respect for her new colleagues underscore the conversation. She is considering the kidney effects of cancer and cancer therapy as possible directions for her clinical research.

"We've improved the outcomes from cancer, now how can we improve the long-term quality of life for survivors?" asks Jones. "Debra Friedman, here at Vanderbilt, is doing landmark research on cancer survivorship. We have an opportunity to make life better for children who survive cancer."

Jones joined the Vanderbilt Department of Pediatrics faculty in December 2010.  She moved from Memphis where she held a similar position at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She also practiced at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital and consulted at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"Deborah Jones is the most intelligent attending physician I've ever met.  She's also a wonderfully coordinated dancer," said Karen Lakin, M.D., a colleague at Le Bonheur who joined Jones for a 2008 Dancing with the Docs charity event. 

"We were absolutely delighted when Dr. Jones agreed to join our Division.  She has quickly become part of the team and the nurses and patients feel comfortable working with her," said Kathy Jabs, director of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. Her personality and personal style fits well with the mission of the Division.  We are all learning from each other and Dr. Jones is inspiring us to a greater degree of discovery."

Faculty Directory: Deborah Price Jones

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