Meet Dr. Robert Toto
Kidney Disease Specialist

Holder of the:
Mary M. Conroy Professorship in Kidney Disease

Robert Toto, M.D., Medical Director of the Multi-Specialty Clinic at UT Southwestern Medical Center, brings more than three decades of research and clinical experience to bear on improving the health of his patients with chronic kidney disease.

“Our clinical group is able to offer the full spectrum of prevention, detection, and treatment of kidney disease,” says Dr. Toto, a D Magazine Best Doctor and Texas Monthly Super Doctor.

He sees patients at every stage of kidney disease, from first diagnosis through transplant and recovery. While chronic kidney disease is a progressive illness, Dr. Toto says today’s patients have a better quality of life and often a slower progression of the disease than ever before.

“The number of new cases of people who have progressed to end-stage kidney failure is leveling off compared to several years back,” he says. “That suggests we are making some impact in slowing the progression of kidney disease.”

Dr. Toto believes the reason for this shift has much to do with improved clinical practice standards, which are a direct result of effective translation of clinical research into practice.

“We’ve taken what we’ve learned from clinical trials and put it into clinical practice itself,” he says, “and that’s made a difference for patients.”

Dr. Toto has firsthand experience in this arena. In addition to his longtime clinical practice, he has been involved in clinical and translational research and mentoring of clinical researchers in kidney medicine for more than 25 years. As UT Southwestern’s Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research, a large part of Dr. Toto’s work includes educating clinicians and mentoring kidney medicine fellows, junior faculty, medical students, and residents interested in careers in nephrology clinical and translational research.

His own research focuses on therapeutic interventions to slow the progression of kidney damage due to diabetes, which along with hypertension is responsible for 75 percent of the cases of chronic kidney disease. He’s also involved with clinical trials of new medications for people living with kidney disease.

“I want to focus on research that is directly related to improving the health and the outcomes of my patients,” he says.