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Generosity and Gratitude: Mechanisms, Models, and Motivations of Living Kidney Donation

Kidney Donation



Project Objectives

In 2012, despite a waiting list of more than 100,000, there were only 5,620 living kidney donors in the U.S. Only 161 of these were non-directed donors (i.e., donors who did not specify the recipient). What are the barriers to living kidney donation, and how might we increase the pool of living kidney donors? Looking closely at the current mechanisms of kidney donation and the motivations of those who do donate, especially those who donate outside their circle of family and friends, this project will explore innovative models of donation, with the aim of increasing the pool of living kidney donors. Given the large disparities between the incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in whites (275 per million) and African Americans (924 per million), and similar disparities in kidney transplants, the project will focus specifically on the barriers to treatment and transplants among African Americans. The project will also focus on the role that faith and faith communities play, or might play, in the recruitment of living kidney donors.

Project Opportunities

We are interested in motivated students with a passion for the topic as it intersects with the fields of medicine, law, religion, and various social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology) that might inform our understanding of generosity, gratitude, and the transactions involved in kidney donation.

Project Application Process

Please complete the Bass Central Application process, located here: https://bassconnections.duke.edu/content/common-application.
When you have completed that process, please send an email to Lysa.mackeen@duke.edu with the title of the project and "application completed" in the subject line.

Project Placements Available


Project Status



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