Dr. Sundaram Hariharan
  • MED Renal Electrolyte, 3459 Fifth Avenue, 7 South Pittsburgh, PA 15213
  • (412) 647-5651
  • hariharans@upmc.edu


Professor of Medicine and Surgery; Robert J. Corry Chair of Surgery; Director of Clinical Research; Thomas E Starzl Transplant Institute

MB BS, University of Bombay, India; MD, University of Bombay, India DNB, New Delhi, India

Research Area(s):
Human Immunology
BKV infection after renal transplantation



Dr. Hariharan has extensive clinical experience in managing kidney and pancreas transplant programs with excellent outcomes. He is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of transplant nephrology, with certifications in internal medicine and nephrology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a member of professional and honorary societies including the American Society of Nephrology, American Society of Transplant Physicians, and the International Transplant Society. His scientific contributions cover variety of important renal transplant topics. They are: Recurrent and De novo Diseases after renal transplantation, Long-term Kidney Transplant Survival, Surrogate Markers for Renal Transplant Outcome and BKV infection after Renal Transplantation.

i)  Recurrent and de novo diseases after renal transplantation: He has published articles on this topics and compiled data from multiple centers and illustrated the importance of identifying recurrent diseases after renal transplantation and negative impact on graft survival

ii)  Published articles on long-term kidney transplant survival using national data base. He illustrated how survival has improved over time and negative aspects of clinical acute rejection impacting graft survival. This also led to identification various short term clinical and biochemical markers influencing long-term kidney transplant survival. These research articles also led to identification and use of newer biomarkers and end points for renal transplantation.   Currently for clinical trials for newer immunosuppressive agents – FDA is mandating some of clinical biomarkers suggested by Dr Hariharan. Those have been derived from his clinical articles.

iii)  He has also published many articles on BKV infection after renal transplantation. He noted negative impact of BK virus nephritis to renal transplant outcome. He investigated the pathogenesis of this infection and explored the importance of cellular/humoral immunity to BK virus and focused on therapeutic strategies. He also convinced through his research papers, that reduction of immunosuppression as the sole therapeutic strategy, as opposed to the use of anti-viral agents. This concept, though not well received initially, is now uniformly accepted as the best treatment approach by the entire transplant community. He established the importance of plasma BK virus surveillance using BK virus DNA technique in 2005. Recently he has shown that BKV infection is less common in African Americans as opposed to Caucasians.