Normal, healthy kidneys filter about 200 quarts of blood each day, generating about 2 quarts of excess fluid, salts, and waste products that are excreted as urine. Loss of function of these organs, even for a short period of time or due to gradual deterioration, can result in life-threatening complications. Whether kidney function is lost suddenly or slowly represents an important health challenge.
The NIDDK supports basic and clinical research on kidney development and disease, including the causes of kidney disease; the underlying mechanisms leading to progression of kidney disease; and the identification and testing of possible treatments to prevent development or halt progression of kidney disease. Also of interest are studies of inherited diseases such as polycystic kidney disease, congenital kidney disorders, and immune-related kidney diseases such as IgA nephropathy and hemolytic uremic syndrome.
It has been estimated that more than 30 million American adults have chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD has two main causes: high blood pressure and diabetes. CKD, especially if undetected, can progress to irreversible kidney failure. People with kidney failure require dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. Minority populations, particularly African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, and American Indians and Alaska Natives, bear a disproportionate burden of CKD and kidney failure.
In addition, NIDDK has congressional authorization for the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse responds to questions and provides health information about kidney disease to people with kidney disease and to their families, health professionals, and the public. The National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) aims to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with kidney disease by promoting evidence-based interventions to improve understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.
Research Updates and News
- On World Kidney Day, kidney health is for everyone — including you
- Treatment of depression for people with end-stage kidney disease undergoing hemodialysis
- Streaming fluid across kidney organoids—mini kidney-like structures—grown on a chip drives their maturation
- Lowering blood pressure does not lead to kidney damage
- Kidney protein could expand the window for developmental nephron production
Select Landmark Studies
- Chronic Kidney Disease in Children Study: CKiD
- Effects of Chronic Kidney Disease in Adults Study: CRIC
What We Do
To achieve its mission, NIDDK supports, conducts, coordinates, and plans research. NIDDK also provides data and samples from NIDDK-funded studies and explains research findings to health professionals and the public.
NIDDK invests in basic, clinical and translational research and training at colleges, universities and other institutions.
- Acute Kidney Injury
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Diabetic Kidney Disease
- End-Stage Renal Disease
- Kidney Bioengineering, Biotechnology, and Imaging
- Kidney Clinical Research and Epidemiology
- Kidney Developmental Biology and Aging
Coordinate & Plan Research
NIDDK takes multiple approaches to research planning and priority setting.
Meetings & Workshops
- Uncovering the Hidden Burden of Benign Genitourinary Conditions
- Sensory Nutrition and Disease Workshop
- Collaborating for the Advancement of Interdisciplinary Research in Benign Urology
Strategic Plans & Reports
- NIDDK Recent Advances & Emerging Opportunities 2019
- U.S. Renal Data System Report
- Kidney Research National Dialogue (KRND) Summary
Provide Access to Research Resources
NIDDK makes publicly supported resources, data sets, and studies available to researchers.View all Research Resources