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Mary Hammes, MD

Dr. Mary Hammes received her bachelor’s degree from Winona State University and her medical degree from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Loyola University Medical Center, and fellowship in Nephrology at the University of Chicago Department of Medicine. She subsequently was recruited to the faculty in the Section of Nephrology, and has served as Medical Director of Woodlawn Dialysis Center since her appointment. In this role, Dr. Hammes has had the unique experience of following a cohort of in-center hemodialysis patients for over 20 years. She appreciates the struggles that this patient population endures, of which the most significant is placement and maintenance of vascular access. She has published studies that show the frequent occurrence of venous stenosis in the cephalic arch of patients with upper arm fistula access. This problem is difficult to treat, leads to access failure, and contributes to morbidity and mortality for this patient population. The search for better ways to prevent complications and loss of permanent access has led to research funding to improve the outcomes for patients with brachiocephalic fistula access. Dr. Hammes is the recipient of an NIH R01 award, which has enabled the development of a team of expert access surgeons, interventional radiologists, bioengineers, and cardiologists to comprehensively carry out a clinical and translational plan to improve vascular access. The current investigation has shown that increased blood flow velocity leads to low wall shear stress through the curved cephalic arch with resultant decreased diameter of the vein and subsequent cephalic arch stenosis. Future direction includes a proposed clinical trial that will limit blood flow velocity after fistula maturation and before the onset of predicted cephalic arch stenosis.