Medical Students: Kidney TREKS

Tutored Research and Education for Kidney Scholars

Kidney TREKS (Tutored Research and Education for Kidney Scholars), an initiative established by the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), is designed to foster interest in careers in nephrology and research through a week-long research course retreat and long-term mentorship program.

There are two TREKS program sites available:

Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) in Bar Harbor, ME

June 10-17, 2017
This course will be organized around several research modules that examine all aspects of kidney function. Modules include: water homeostasis, salt homeostasis and secretion, acid/base homeostasis, glomerular function, and personalized medicine and genetics. In each module, classical experiments using model systems (toad, zebrafish, roundworm, shark, Xenopus oocyte) are combined with modern molecular techniques. Visit course site »

The University of Chicago (UChicago) in Chicago, IL

July 15-21, 2017
The ASN Kidney TREKS at UChicago is one of two-week long kick offs that provides medical students interested in nephrology opportunities to explore the field. UChicago will host a group of interested medical and PhD students for a week in the windy city. There will be academic work focused around modules that examine human renal physiology, healthcare disparities and outreach, and nephrology procedures. Within each module, participants engage in hands on activities including scientific experiments, patient care and procedural simulations.

The Kidney TREKS program offers participants the opportunity to:

  1. Attend a week long course at the MDIBL or at the UChicago site. Tuition, a travel stipend to Maine or Illinois, and room and board are provided by ASN.
  2. Connect with a nephrologist-mentor who will interact with the student over the course of medical school training, graduate school or postdoctoral fellowship.
  3. Attend ASN Kidney Week during the 3rd or 4th year of medical school or graduate school with travel support (as a part of the ASN Program for Students and Residents).
  4. Receive complimentary ASN membership, including access to website resources for students.


  • Must be a medical student who has complete at least one year of medical school, a graduate student pursuing a PhD or a postdoctoral fellow within their first year of training.
  • Must reside in North America.
  • This program is not for fellows already pursuing nephrology.

Application and Program Details

Applicants, please note: you are only required to complete one program application, even if you would like to be considered for both sites. If you would like to be considered for both program sites, please complete the application to the program of your first choice and select the option to be considered for the second site through your first application. Again, only one application is required. ASN will do its best to accommodate student preferences. Students are only eligible to attend one site.

Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory

Application Deadline: Friday, January 19, 2018
Application   Details  

University of Chicago

Application Deadline: Friday, January 19, 2018
Application   Details  

TREKS Mentors

A big "thank you" to all the faculty who have served as mentors for students on the TREKS program!

For questions or more information about the Kidney TREKS program, please contact Director of Governance and Workforce Initiatives Laura McCann at or 202-640-4660.