O’Brien Kidney Research Overview

The George M. O’Brien Kidney Research Core Center (NIH P30DK079328) was established at UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2007. The overall goal of the Center is to support research in the areas of kidney development and genetics, renal physiology, and chronic kidney disease that is conducted at UT Southwestern, neighboring institutions in North Texas, and the greater nephrology community in the U.S. and worldwide.

The specific aims are to generate new animal models to study the pathogenesis and treatment of human kidney diseases and their cardiovascular complications, accelerate the clinical application of discoveries made in renal basic science laboratories, and provide investigators with specialized tools and expertise to study kidney development, physiology, and pathophysiology.

To achieve these aims, the UT Southwestern O’Brien Kidney Research Center comprises four biomedical research cores: animal models, physiology, cell biology and imaging, and clinical and translational research. In addition, the Center offers an educational enrichment program consisting of biweekly seminars, an annual research conference, and hands-on training in research techniques. The pilot and feasibility program supports up to four projects per year to new investigators in the field of kidney research.

The cores support ongoing kidney-related research conducted at UT Southwestern, in the North Texas region, nationally, and internationally. The research base consists of 81 externally funded investigators who are conducting basic research in the areas of kidney physiology and cell biology, injury and inflammation, developmental biology, and renal cystic diseases. Clinical/translational research is conducted in the areas of acute and chronic kidney disease, kidney and cardiovascular disease, and electrolyte and mineral metabolism.

The Educational Enrichment Program includes a research seminar, annual symposium, training grants, and courses offered by the new Department of Clinical Sciences.

By strengthening existing collaborations and attracting outside investigators, the center will promote new multidisciplinary approaches to understanding the causes and treatment of renal diseases.

Core Users and Investigators chart