Rachel Lestz, MD, MHS

Medical Director, Acute Kidney Injury Program
Clinical Director of Pediatric Nephrology
Assistant Medical Director of Peritoneal Dialysis
Attending Nephrologist
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Lestz is the medical director of Pediatric Kidney Transplantation. At CHLA, we have one of the largest End Stage Renal Disease Programs in the US and pediatric kidney transplant is a critical component of the care provided to these patients. Dr. Lestz oversees the care decisions made both prior to and after transplantation. She leads a multidisciplinary team including nurses, transplant coordinators, social workers, dieticians and support staff with the collective goal of improving the quality of life and care of children living with kidney transplants. In addition, Dr. Lestz continues to care for general nephrology patients including those with chronic kidney disease, hypertension, glomerulonephritides and children with congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT). Dr. Lestz was named as a Super Doctors Rising Star in Nephrology in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Dr. Lestz research centers around clinical outcomes in the ESRD and transplant population. During her fellowship in pediatric nephrology, she obtained a masters degree (MHS) in clinical epidemiology which has enhanced her ability to investigate independently and as a research collaborator. She is an active participant in several multi-disciplinary and multi-centered projects focused on several aspects of the transplant population.

She provides leadership and oversight to a new Acute Kidney Injury Prevention program. Under her leadership a system of electronic alerts and surveillance for early identification of patients at risk and working with pharmacy and primary providers limit the impact of nephrotoxic therapies. Dr. Lestz oversees our participation in the NINJA (Nephrotoxic Injury Negated by Just in Time Action) collaborative joining 36 participating centers. In 2013, she became medical director of the Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program at CHLA. She leads a multidisciplinary team including nurses, transplant coordinators, social workers, dietitians and support staff with the collective goal of improving the quality of life and care of children living with kidney transplants. She continues to treat children with a variety of renal diseases, including those who have experienced acute kidney injury (AKI).

Clinical Interests

Kidney Transplant
Chronic Kidney Disease
Glomerulonephritis (SLE, ANCA associated vasculitis)
Nephrotic Syndrome
Congenital Anomalies of the Kidney and Urinary Tract


Medical School

New York Medical College

Graduate School

MHS - Bloomberg School of Public Health - Johns Hopkins University


Johns Hopkins - Harriet Lane Residency Program


Johns Hopkins - Harriet Lane Residency Program


Johns Hopkins - Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship



American Board of Pediatrics - General Pediatrics
American Board of Pediatrics - Pediatric Nephrology

Professional Memberships

American Society of Nephrology
American Society of Pediatric Nephrology


Super Doctors Rising Star: 2013, 2014, 2015


Lestz RM, Fivush BA, Atkinson MA.Association of higher erythropoiesis stimulating agent dose and mortality in children on dialysis. Pediatr Nephrol. 2014 Oct;29(10):2021-8. doi: 10.1007/s00467-014-2820-9. Epub 2014 May 3

Atkinson MA, Lestz RM, Fivush BA, Silverstein DM.Comparative clinical outcomes between pediatric and young adult dialysis patients. Pediatr Nephrol. 2011 Dec;26(12):2219-26. doi: 10.1007/s00467-011-1932-8. Epub 2011 Jun 4

Lestz RM, Atkinson M, Fivush B, Furth SL.No difference in meeting hemoglobin and albumin targets for dialyzed children with urologic disorders. Pediatr Nephrol. 2011 Jul;26(7):1129-36. doi: 10.1007/s00467-011-1850-9. Epub 2011 Mar 20

Bertolino A, Kumra S, Callicott JH, Mattay VS, Lestz RM, Jacobsen L, Barnett IS, Duyn JH, Frank JA, Rapoport JL, Weinberger DR.Common pattern of cortical pathology in childhood-onset and adult-onset schizophrenia as identified by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. Am J Psychiatry. 1998 Oct;155(10):1376-83


  • Pediatric Kidney Transplantation
    • Adherence/Transition
    • Development, treatment and Outcomes with Donor Specific Antibodies
  • Clinical Outcomes in ESRD