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

Dates TBD
In contrast to MDIBL, UChicago offers a metropolitan backdrop and a blend of complementary clinical and research opportunities with an outstanding, renowned faculty. This course will be organized around several modules that focus on physiology, health disparities, and clinical experience. The module on kidney physiology includes experiments on acid-base, urine analysis, and stone risk analysis. A module on health disparities will include the opportunity to conduct community outreach for hands-on experience. The course will also feature a module on clinical procedures such as dialysis, ultrasounds, and biopsies.

The 2016 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

Mount Desert Island Biologic Laboratory

Application Deadline: Friday, January 20, 2017
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 Workforce and Career Advancement Assistant Monica Waema at or 202-618-6990.