COVID-19 updates, including vaccine information, for our patients and visitors, Learn More
About David Malcom Ward, MD, FRCP
David Malcom Ward, MD, is a nephrologist who specializes in apheresis, a medical procedure that involves passing a person's blood through a device that separates out a component of the blood from its other parts and returns the remainder of the blood into circulation.
He also specializes in treating complex nephrology cases, including immunological renal diseases, kidney diseases in pregnancy, acute and chronic renal failure, hemodialysis, transplantation medicine, and the therapeutic uses of plasmapheresis and cytapheresis.
Dr. Ward joined UC San Diego Health in 1977 as a nephrology clinician and researcher. In 1979 he became chief of clinical nephrology, and under his direction for the next 19 years the clinical nephrology and dialysis programs at UC San Diego Health diversified and expanded.
Dr. Ward founded the apheresis program at UC San Diego Health in 1982, initially offering therapeutic plasmapheresis and cytapheresis (including red cell exchange and white cell reduction). In 1989 he was one of the first to enter the field of peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cell harvest apheresis, in support of blood and marrow transplantation (BMT). The apheresis program now performs all such procedures for the joint UC San Diego/ Sharp BMT Program, and for Rady Children's Hospital San Diego.
In 2003 Dr. Ward introduced photopheresis at UC San Diego, which has proved very successful in treating graft-versus-host disease and lung transplant rejection.
As a professor emeritus in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Ward trains medical students, residents and fellows, and has personally trained all the apheresis physicians and nurses involved in the program and many others now practicing in across the United States. For many years he has been recognized as the regional expert in apheresis medicine, and as a nationally acknowledged authority on therapeutic apheresis techniques and applications.
In addition, Dr. Ward is the co-owner, with Dr. Ravidra Mehta, of the U.S. patent on citrate method of anticoagulation for continuous hemodiafiltration that they invented in 1989. The technique has been adopted throughout the world.
Dr. Ward completed a fellowship in renal immunopathology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla and a residency in nephrology at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in Scotland. He earned his medical degree at University of Glasgow, Scotland, and is board certified in internal medicine.
He remains a popular invited speaker on apheresis topics at national and international medical conferences and is widely published in the field. In 1997, Dr. Ward received the "Doctor of the Year" award of excellence at UC San Diego Health.
UC San Diego Health Links
For more information, see Nephrology or Apheresis.
- University of Glasgow School of Medicine, Glasgow, Scotland
- Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland
- Department of Immunopathology, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation La Jolla, CA
Date Joined Staff
- American Board of Internal Medicine
Conditions and Treatments
- Immunological Renal Diseases
- Transplantation Medicine
- Kidney Diseases in Pregnancy
- Therapeutic Uses of Plasmapheresis Cytapheresis
- Glomerular Diseases
- Acute and Chronic Renal Failure