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

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

This course is organized around several research modules that examine all aspects of kidney function. Modules typically 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.

Check out this vlog created by Nathan Kudlapur, a participant in the 2022 MDIBL TREKS Program, to catch a glimpse of what the program is like:

University of Chicago (UChicago) in Chicago, IL

The ASN Kidney TREKS course at UChicago hosts a group of interested medical and PhD students for a week in the Windy City. There will be academic work focused on modules that examine human renal physiology, health care 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 either the MDIBL or the UChicago site. Tuition, travel support to Maine or Illinois, and room and board are provided by ASN.
  2. Connect with a nephrology mentor who will interact with the student over the course of medical school training, graduate school, or postdoctoral fellowship.
  3. Attend ASN Kidney Week with travel support as part of the ASN Kidney STARS Program within two years of completing the ASN Kidney TREKS Program.
  4. Receive complimentary ASN membership, including access to website resources for students.


  • Must be a medical student who has completed 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 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 26, 2024

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University of Chicago

Application Deadline: Friday, January 26, 2024

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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