Michelle Estrella, MD, MHS

Michelle is a Professor of Medicine and the Renal Section Chief at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. She emigrated from the Philippines at age 8 and spent her adolescence in Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas. Having grown in a family of nurses and teachers, she realized the personal gratification that accompanies a life of service to others at a young age. To that end, she obtained her medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. During medical school, she gravitated towards the field of nephrology, attracted first by the kidneys’ elegant physiology and later by the challenging nature of kidney diseases and unmet clinical and research needs in this field. After completing her internal medicine residency and nephrology training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Michelle stayed on as faculty from 2006 to 2016. In addition to the individual care of her patients, some of her most rewarding experiences professionally have centered on addressing key gaps in nephrology research through collaborative relationships and mentorship of clinical research trainees. Therefore, the KHRC’s mission of improving kidney health through highly innovative research in a collaborative, nurturing environment was a perfect fit.  Dr. Estrella has had an outstanding career in research, including > 50 manuscripts, and her work has been funded by NIH, including a recent R01 that aims to yield a predictive model which incorporates the multiplex HIV-AKI Risk Panel, which could then be tested as a screening tool in clinical trials comparing early management of AKI or intensive management after AKI with the current standards of care as well as a surrogate endpoint for early phase therapeutic candidates for AKI.

Michelle arrived to the Bay Area in the Summer of 2016 with her husband, John, who loves her enough to make the nearly 3000-mile cross-country trek. They have three young kids who bring them tremendous joy and angst as only kids can. Living by her personal motto of “Work hard. Play hard.”, Michelle is often engrossed in her work till wee hours in the morning and also makes time for the best experiences that life has to offer. Besides laughing it up with family and friends, she especially enjoys traveling, running, cooking (and eating) as well as capturing photographs of her family, friends and destinations.