Vanessa Grubbs, MD

Associate Professor


College: Duke University, BA
Medical School: Duke University School of Medicine, MD
Internal Medicine Residency: Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, CA
Nephrology Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco
Other graduate training: University of California, Berkeley, MPH


Dr. Grubbs is an Assistant Professor based at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). Her primary research focus is to explore the independent effect of periodontal disease on kidney function decline and the extent to which treatment of periodontal disease can slow progression of clinically evident kidney disease.

A strong clinical and second research interest for Dr. Grubbs is the management of patients with advanced and end-stage kidney disease, specifically in the areas of decision-making and renal palliative care. She has served as an active member of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Dialysis Advisory Group and currently serves on the ASN Public Policy Board.

Finally, Dr. Grubbs is a creative non-fiction writer. In her role as the Capstone Course Director for senior medical students in the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US), she leads "Writing for Change," a workshop series which teaches students how to connect their medical experiences with larger advocacy issues. She maintains a blog at and is working on her first book.

Dr. Grubbs' work is funded by career development awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIDDK-K23) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award).
Clinical Fellowship, - Nephrology, University of California, San Francisco
Honors and Awards
  • K23 Career Development Award, NIH-NIDDK, 2012-2017
  • Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012-2016
  1. Meeting the Palliative Care Needs of Maintenance Hemodialysis Patients: Beyond the Math.