Serena M Bagnasco, M.D.

Headshot of Serena M Bagnasco
  • Director, Renal Biopsy Service, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Professor of Pathology

Languages: English, Italian


Pathology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Renal Pathology, Transplant Pathology more

Research Interests

Kidney molecular physiology and pathology


The Johns Hopkins Hospital

600 N. Wolfe Street
Department of Pathology
Baltimore, MD 21287
The Johns Hopkins Hospital - Google Maps


Dr. Serena Bagnasco is a professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her areas of clinical expertise include pathology and transplant pathology. Dr. Bagnasco serves as director of the Hopkins Renal Pathology Service.

Dr. Bagnasco obtained her M.D. degree from the University of Genova in Italy, and spent several years in the Laboratory of Kidney and Electrolyte Metabolism NIH/NHLBI for her post-doctoral training in kidney physiology. She completed a residency in anatomic pathology at Northwestern University in Chicago, and a clinical fellowship in renal pathology at Johns Hopkins.

Her research interests are in the field of renal physiology and pathophysiology. She has studied how renal cells adapt to the environment of the kidney medulla, characterized by high concentration of salt and urea. More recently she has focused on the pathology of renal transplant, and the use of digital pathology in the analysis of kidney biopsies.

Dr. Bagnasco is on the editorial board of several peer reviewed journal including  The American Journal of Physiology, is Academic Editor for PlosOne. Dr. Bagnasco has authored more than 60 articles in scientific journals. more


  • Director, Renal Biopsy Service, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions

  • Pathology - Kidney-Urologic Pathology

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Universita' Degli Studi Di Genova (1979)


  • Anatomic Pathology; McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University (1990)


  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1993)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pathology (Anatomic Pathology) (1990)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Bagnasco's research interests are in the field of renal physiology / pathophysiology, and pathology.

She has studied the mechanisms of adaptation of renal cells to the environment of the kidney medulla, characterized by high concentration of salt and urea.

She and her team have defined the genomic organization of the gene that encodes the major renal urea transporters, which are essential for the process of urine concentration in the mammalian kidney. She has elucidated some of the major pathways regulating expression and function of these transporters in the kidney and at extrarenal sites.

She is involved in collaborative multicenter studies on the characteristics of glomerular diseases as part of the NEPTUNE and CureGN consortia.

She is the central pathologist for the HOPE in action clinical trial of HIV to HIV deceased donor kidney transplantation. 

She is leading two working groups studying HIV/HIV kidney transplantation and recurrent glomerulonephritis within the Banff organization.

Clinical Trial Keywords

HOPE in action clinical trial of HIV to HIV deceased donor kidney transplantation

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Nakayama Y, Peng T, Sands JM, Bagnasco SM. The TonE/TonEBP pathway mediates tonicity-responsive regulation of UT-A urea transporter expression. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2000;275:38275-38280.

Bagnasco SM, Zachary AA, Racusen LC, Arend LJ, Carter-Monroe N, Alachkar N, Nazarian SM, Lonze BE, Montgomery RA, Kraus ES. Time Course of Pathologic Changes in Kidney Allografts of Positive Crossmatch HLA-Incompatible Transplant Recipients. Transplantation. 2014; 97:440-445.

Mariani LH, Martini S, Barisoni L, Canetta PA, Troost JP, Hodgin JB, Palmer M, Rosenberg AZ, Lemley KV, Chien HP, Zee J, Smith A, Appel GB, Trachtman H, Hewitt SM, Kretzler M, Bagnasco SM: Interstitial fibrosis scored on whole slide digital imaging of kidney biopsies is a predictor of outcome in proteinuric glomerulopathies. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2018, 33:310-318

Haas M, Loupy A, Lefaucheur C, Roufosse C, Glotz D, Seron D, Nankivell BJ, Halloran PF, Colvin RB, Akalin E, Alachkar N, Bagnasco S, Bouatou Y, Becker JU, Cornell LD, van Huyen JPD, Gibson IW, Kraus ES, Mannon RB, Naesens M, Nickeleit V, Nickerson P, Segev DL, Singh HK, Stegall M, Randhawa P, Racusen L, Solez K, Mengel M. The Banff 2017 kidney meeting report: revised diagnostic criteria for chronic active T cell-mediated rejection, antibody-mediated rejection, and prospects for integrative endpoints for next-generation clinical trials. Am J Transplant. 2018;18:293-307

Costigliolo F, Lombardo K, Arend L, Rosenberg AZ, Matoso A, Carter-Monroe N, Bagnasco SM. BK virus RNA in renal allograft biopsies J Histochem Cytochem. 2020;May;68(5):319-325. PMID: 32352851

Contact for Research Inquiries

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Pathology Building, Room 711
600 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Activities & Honors


  • Fellow Of the American Society of Transplantation


  • American Physiological Society
  • American Society of Nephrology
  • American Society of Transplantation
  • United States Canadian Academy of Pathology
  • Renal Pathology Society

Professional Activities

  • Editorial Board, The American Journal of Physiology - Renal
  • Editorial Board, Clinical Transplantation
  • Member Scientific Advisory Board, Maryland National Kidney Foundation
  • Chair, Banff Working Group "HIV+ to HIV+" renal transplant
  • Councilor, Renal Pathology Society
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