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Benjamin Cowley, Jr., MD

  • Accepting New Patients
  • Member of OU Health Physicians
  • Position: Nephrologist
  • Primary Specialties: Nephrology, Transplant
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Practice Started: 1/1/1987
  • Gender: Male

About Benjamin Cowley, Jr.

Benjamin D. Cowley, Jr., MD, FACP, FASN is currently Professor of Medicine and Chief of Nephrology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC). Dr. Cowley received his MD from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX in 1981. He then completed an Internal Medicine Residency followed by a Nephrology Fellowship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, training with Dr. Jared Grantham, who was establishing a collaboration with Dr. James Calvet in Biochemistry. Dr. Cowley served as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Dr. Calvet's lab, performing some of the earliest studies of gene expression in the hereditary disease, polycystic kidney disease (PKD). He then served as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, before returning to the University of Kansas in 1989 as a faculty member and resuming studies of PKD. In 2002, he was recruited to OUHSC as Chief of Nephrology and John Gammill Professor in Polycystic Kidney Disease.

PKD is the most common, potentially fatal hereditary disease in humans affecting over 600,000 individuals in the U.S. and millions worldwide. PKD causes renal failure in half of those affected. Dr. Cowley's longstanding research interest in PKD lead him to membership on the Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) for the TEMPO 3:4 trial of tolvaptan as a treatment for PKD. As a result of this trial, tolvaptan was approved as a treatment for PKD in Japan, Canada, and Europe. Dr. Cowley was then Chair of the IDMC for the subsequent REPRISE trial of tolvaptan. As a result of this trial, in March 2018, tolvaptan was approved by the U.S. FDA as a treatment for PKD. Thus Dr. Cowley played a pivotal role in the development of the first therapy specifically designed to slow the progression of PKD.

Dr. Cowley has played key roles in the non-profit PKD Foundation, which funds more research on PKD that any organization other than the NIH. Dr. Cowley was on the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) for the PKDF, ultimately serving as Vice-Chair and Chair of the PKDF SAC. He subsequently was on the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PKDF, ultimately serving as Vice-Chair and Chair of the PKDF BoT. During his tenure on the PKDF BoT, he led searches for a new Chief Scientific Officer and a new CEO. While Vice-Chair of the SAC, Dr. Cowley initiated a 1-day national educational course on PKD at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), leading that course 4 times over 6 years; this course will be held again at the 2018 ASN Annual Meeting. As an outgrowth of that course, Dr. Cowley co-edited a book entitled "PKD: Translating Mechanisms into Therapy" published in 2018.

Dr. Cowley is highly active in section clinical programs, providing consultative inpatient care at OU Medical Center and the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center. He also has a busy outpatient clinic, focusing on hereditary kidney diseases, and supervises the care of dozens of chronic dialysis patients. Dr. Cowley has a longstanding interest in renal and other solid organ transplants, Attending in the Renal Transplant Clinic at OUMC and in the Solid Organ Transplant Clinic at the OKC VAMC. Dr. Cowley serves as the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)-designated Physician for both the Kidney Transplant Program and the Pancreas Transplant Program at OUMC, positions required by regulatory agencies. Dr. Cowley has also served over 10 years on the Board of Directors of the non-profit LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma (the Oklahoma Organ Procurement Organization or "Organ Bank"), serving as Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-Chair, Chair, and currently Finance Committee Chair. He served as the Region 4 Representative to the National Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Committee for UNOS.

Dr. Cowley also plays an active role in section educational activities, important for the education of Medical Students, Post Graduate Trainees, and other Healthcare Professionals at OUHSC. When Dr. Cowley first arrived, he also served as the Program Director for the OUHSC Nephrology Fellowship Training Program, ensuring the full accreditation of the program since his arrival. Dr. Cowley has been named an Oklahoma "Top Doctor" by Castle Connolly for the past 10 years.

Affiliations OU Health Physicians – Internal Medicine Clinic, OU Health Physicians Building - Oklahoma City, OU Health Transplant Center
  • Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. 2016
  • Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. 2017
  • John Gammill Professor in Polycystic Kidney Disease
Health Education
  • Medical School
  • MD Baylor College of Medicine
    Houston, TX
  • Residency
  • Internal Medicine University of Kansas Medical Center
    Kansas City, KS
  • Fellowship
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow Biochemistry & Molecular Biology University of Kansas Medical Center
    Kansas City, KS
  • Laboratory of Kidney & Electrolyte Metabolisms National Heart Lung & Blood Institute
    Bethesda, MD
  • Nephrology University of Kansas Medical Center
    Kansas City, KS
  • Research Fellowship, Biochemistry University of Kansas Medical Center
    Research Fellowship, Biochemistry, KS
  • Board Certification
  • Internal Medicine 1984
  • Sub-Certification in Nephrology 1988
Medical Interests Areas of Interest:
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Transplantation
  • General nephrology
Star Ratings
4.9 out of 5
( 173 Ratings
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • Jan 4, 2021
    I really liked Dr Cowley. This was my first time to see him but he explained so many things to me about PKD. He listened and shared so much information with me.
  • Nov 11, 2020
    Ive know him for along time. Hes the best dr ever. Always there for me when needed and always willing to help anyway possible
  • Oct 26, 2020
    Dr. Cowley is WONDERFUL!! He spent at least an hour explaining the results of my medical exams and was very kind and encouraging. Also, he called me at home during the pandemic when offices were closed and talked to me about my medical condition so that I would understand it better. I wouldn't go to anyone else.
  • Oct 5, 2020
  • Sep 15, 2020
    Dr. Ben Cowley's listening skills, professionalism, and expertise in ADPKD make him a physician kidney patients are privileged to consult.
  • Sep 14, 2020
    Dr. Cowley has been the best doctor I've had the pleasure of working with during my time with CKD. He listened to everything I said, made sure I understood the meaning of medical terms and gave his honest full explained answers. Couldn't be happier than with my experience with Dr. Cowley!
  • Sep 4, 2020
    Dr Cowley is an outstanding physician and a fine man. OU is very lucky to have him, and I am lucky to have him as my nephrologist.
  • Aug 26, 2020
    Dr. Cowley has a bedside manner above all others! He takes his time to listen, explain, and advise. He sees me quickly if it's urgent, even if he has to squeeze me in. I trust him explicitly and follow his orders to perfection! I'm so grateful for ALL of my Drs at OU!!!
  • Aug 24, 2020
    I really appreciated Dr. Cowley taking time to explain my health to myself and my partner. I am grateful to have a doctor who considers me as a "whole person," not just a case of kidney disease.
  • Jul 20, 2020
    It is truly a pleasure to have a physician like Dr. Cowley. He will listen to all of my concerns and he is also just as concerned with my overall health which is evidenced by his questions and answers.
  • Jun 15, 2020
    My visit was perfect
  • Jun 10, 2020
    Dr. Cowley is amazing. He is always easy to contact if I have questions or concerns, and he goes above and beyond to take care of me. I trust him implicitly! Telemedicine is fantastic and I am hoping this will be an available method of care in the future. It saved both Doc and me a lot of time.
  • Oct 14, 2019
    He cares. He listens. And he knows his profession.
  • Oct 7, 2019
    Dr. Cowley has a lovely bedside manner. He is honest, straight forward, and caring.
  • Oct 7, 2019
    Loved loved loved Dr Cowley! He was the most thorough doctor spent 2 hrs with me. Answered all my questions. I'm even considering leaving my current Neph to use him! He treats you as an equal. Not just some patient. Very impressed.
  • Sep 23, 2019
    Great Doctor
  • Sep 9, 2019
    Dr. Cowley is a very fine physician, knowledgeable, personable, and one who listens carefully to the patient.
  • Aug 28, 2019
    I'm impressed with the way the doctor. He was most helpful in his knowledge and explanation of my disease.
  • Aug 21, 2019
    Dr Cowley went above and beyond expectations in explaining my diagnosis, treatment, and winning my trust and confidence.
  • Aug 12, 2019
    While I was at my appointment, my car was backed into in the parking garage of the OU physicians building causing major damage to my bumper. Who ever did this hit and ran, leaving no contact information. I contacted the parking garage and OU police and found there are NO surveillance cameras anywhere that might show who did this damage and so I can get the damage repaired. Surveillance cameras are cheap and easy to maintain. I am very disappointed that OU physicians does not have surveillance to protect the
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