George M. O'Brien Kidney Research Centers

May 2020 Council

Lead Division/Office


Point(s) of Contact

Paul L. Kimmel M.D., M.A.C.P.; Ivonne Schulman M.D.

Executive Summary

The George M. O’Brien Kidney Centers Program started in 1987 after specific statutory authority was provided in 1985. The Kidney Program originally funded four Centers. Currently eight centers are funded, supporting basic, clinical and translational research relating to the kidney and genitourinary tract. Four Centers are funded until 2022, and four through 2023. The O'Brien Centers conduct interdisciplinary investigations addressing basic, clinical, and applied research in renal and genitourinary physiology and pathophysiology. The program attracts scientific expertise to study basic mechanisms of kidney diseases and disorders, encourages multidisciplinary research on disease etiology, explores new basic areas that may have clinical research applications and generates Pilot and Feasibility studies that should lead to innovative approaches to study kidney disease, and submission of competitive R01 grant applications. A key element of the Program is sharing resources developed by the Core facilities broadly across the nation and internationally. NIDDK proposes continued support of the O’Brien Kidney Centers, to enhance interdisciplinary research, and sharing of tools, techniques and core resources broadly, while providing opportunities for junior investigators and those outside Centers to develop pilot projects to expand the nephrology research workforce and enhance the grant pipeline. Revising the call for applications to one cycle will enhance the efficiency of the program.