ASN's Mission

To create a world without kidney diseases, the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health elevates care by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world.

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Medical Students

The University of Chicago application is currently closed.

University of Chicago Application

The deadline to apply is Thursday, January 25, 2024.

Kidney TREKS, 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.

Course Description

The ASN Kidney TREKS at the University of Chicago (UChicago) is one of two week-long courses 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.

The Kidney TREKS UChicago Program includes:

  • Attending a weeklong, on-site course at the University of Chicago, July 20-27, 2024. Tuition, travel support to Illinois, room and board are paid by ASN.
  • Becoming connected with a nephrology mentor who will interact with the participant over the course of medical school training, graduate school, or postdoctoral fellowship.
  • Attending ASN Kidney Week within two years of participating in the TREKS program with travel support as a part of the ASN Kidney STARS program.
  • Receiving complimentary membership to ASN with 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.

Program Modules

July 20-27, 2024

Program modules typically include the following:

  • Physiology: Participants will learn renal physiology with a bent toward real-life applications in an interactive workshop. Ahead of the week, participants will collect a 24-hour urine under normal and study conditions. Participants will receive their baseline data and use it in various breakout groups in lectures throughout the day. Participants will form two groups at the end of each day and receive either the sodium or protein data to make predictions, analyze the data, and prepare a presentation for the next day.
  • Glomerular diseases: During this module, participants will learn about glomerulonephritis from an entirely different perspective: a patient-centered one. TREKS participants will begin to follow clinical cases from presentation to biopsy to treatment and hear about the impact of disease from the patients themselves.
  • Genetics: During this module, participants will learn both the science behind genetic renal diseases and see these diseases from a personal perspective. Participants will receive training in genomic and mutation analysis. They will also get an opportunity to meet with and interview patients and families with genetic renal diseases.
  • Transplant: Participants will learn about renal transplantation from transplant nephrologists, surgeons, and transplant recipients. Participants will receive hands-on training in (simulated) transplant biopsies and debate ethical issues central to renal transplantation.
  • Outreach/disparities: Participants will get out into the community and help screen at-risk populations for kidney disease. Then, participants will experience a glimpse into our patients' lives through a surprise project!
  • Program Housing and Schedule

    Please note that TREKS participants may share housing with other program participants.

    Housing will be provided on the University of Chicago campus. Housing will be within walking distance of all campus facilities.

    Click here for a sample program schedule from 2019.


    The course will be run by Benjamin S. Ko, MD.

    For questions or more information about the Kidney TREKS program, please contact ASN Leadership Development Manager Molly Rubin at