Division of Nephrology-Hypertension

Joachim H. Ix, MD, MAS, FASN

Chief, Division of Nephrology
Professor of Medicine
Curriculum Vitae

Location: VAMC (SD)
Mail Code: 9111H
Mailing Address: 9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-9111
E-mail: joix@ucsd.edu
Phone: (858) 552-8585 ext. 7528
Fax: (858) 552-7549

Research Interests

Joachim H. Ix, MD, MAS is Professor and Chief of the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension at UC San Diego.  He is a nephrologist, epidemiologist, and clinical trialist.  His research focuses in two main areas, novel therapies chronic kidney disease mineral bone disorders (CKD-MBD), and non-invasive assessment of kidney tubule health.  Chronic kidney disease leads to altered homeostasis of calcium, phosphate, and associated regulatory hormones.  These factors, in turn, are strongly associated with vascular calcification and cardiac structural abnormalities.  His team has used large observational epidemiologic studies to determine the presence and quantify the strength of associations of these factors with cardiovascular disease and related outcomes in CKD patients.  The strength and consistency of these findings makes intervention to improve CKD-MBD an important target in lowering cardiovascular disease event risk in CKD patients.  He has identified novel therapies that lower intestinal phosphate absorption, and is now evaluating the safety and efficacy of these therapies in CKD patients in multi-center randomized clinical trials.  Second, his team is interested in identifying novel non-invasive markers of kidney tubule cell health.  While contemporary clinical markers of kidney disease focus primarily on the health of the glomerulus (creatinine and albuminuria), the kidney tubules are responsible for a myriad of important functions of the kidney including electrolyte transport, hormone production, and acid/base homeostasis.  Pathologic studies demonstrate that kidney tubule atrophy and fibrosis are important determinants of kidney disease progression, but are poorly captured by glomerular markers of kidney health.  Dr. Ix and his team have evaluated a myriad of blood and urine proteins that non-invasively assess the health of kidney tubule cells, and are working to determine if these markers improve assessment of risk of future kidney disease progression and cardiovascular disease risk.

Clinical Interests

Diagnosis and management of chronic kidney disease.


More about Dr. Ix

In 2007 Joachim H. Ix, MD, MAS joined the faculty of the Department of Medicine and Family and Preventive Medicine with appointments in the Division of Nephrology and Division of Preventive Medicine. He has a joint appointment with the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, where he is currently the Director of the VA Dialysis Unit.

Along with his duties at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System he has received three (3) Federally funded grants to research Fetuin-A, Diabetes, and other determinates of cardiovascular disease along with an American Heart Association, an American Diabetes Association Innovation Award in Geriatric Endocrinology and a Sandra B. Daugherty Foundation Award in Cardiovascular Epidemiology.

Dr. Ix began his academic career at the University of California, San Diego obtaining his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. While attending UCSD as an undergraduate, he was also awarded Most Outstanding Senior in Biochemistry and Cell Biology Award. Continuing his education at the University of Chicago, Pritzger School of Medicine, Dr. Ix received his medical degree and was once again acknowledged for his academic excellence he was selected as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honors fraternity; he was awarded the Sandoz Award (outstanding extracurricular accomplishments during medical school),

Dr. Ix completed his internship and residency at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School in Medicine and later his rotation through Nephrology influenced his current career path into medical research. He was honored by receiving the Outstanding Intern award, as well as the TEACH Award for outstanding teaching, the Keith Johnson Award for outstanding second year resident.

While completing his internship and medical residency at the UCSF School of Medicine Dr. Ix obtained a Masters in Advanced Studies (MAS) degree in clinical research, biostatistics and epidemiology which prepared him for his career in medical research. During this time Dr. Ix was also the Chief Medical Resident for the UCSF School of Medicine, Department of Medicine and then a Fellow in Nephrology prior to his appointment as an Assistant Professor at UCSF in Nephrology. He began his teaching career as Chief Medical Resident and a Lecturer.

He now divides his times between the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, where he is currently the Director, Dialysis Unit, and the UCSD School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and the Division of Preventive Medicine where he focuses his research activities on Fetuin-A, Kidney Disease and Cardiovascular Disease.