The Vanderbilt O'Brien Kidney Center supports two seminar series.

  • The weekly Renal Research Conferences feature presentations by trainees, faculty and invited speakers working in kidney-related fields.
  • The monthly National O'Brien Center Kidney Seminars (NOCKS) feature speakers from the eight participating adult and three pediatric O'Brien Kidney Centers.


Monthly virtual meetings hosted by eight participating adult and three pediatric O’Brien Kidney Centers

The Vanderbilt-O’Brien Kidney Center (VOKC) is coordinating a monthly, Zoom-based seminar series for the eight adult and three pediatric O’Brien Kidney Centers in the U.S. The National O’Brien Center Kidney Seminars (NOCKS) will take once a month, rotating each month between centers on dates and times to be determined by the presenting center.

The idea of this seminar series is to promote regular scientific interactions between participating centers, with each center selecting one speaker to present some of the most exciting current research from their institution. These will be 40-minute talks, followed by a moderated discussion. We also plan to set up a private chat room at the end of each of the seminars for interested trainees to “meet the professor.”

Each of the participating centers will choose their speakers and host each of the Zoom meetings with support from the VOKC to coordinate meetings and promote lively, interactive discussions.

Contact the NOCKS organizers:

Mark de Caestecker, MBBS, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology & Hypertension


Ray Harris, MD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology & Hypertension, Director, Vanderbilt O'Brien Kidney Center


For more information and questions, please email Lindsey Schindler.

Renal Research Conference

Weekly meetings hosted by the Vanderbilt O'Brien Kidney Center at 8:30 a.m. CT on Fridays

The Vanderbilt O'Brien Kidney Center (VOKC) Renal Research Conference occurs Fridays at 8:30 a.m. CT from September through May each academic calendar year. The conference aims to: 

  • Provide junior investigators from Vanderbilt and partner institutions with a supportive venue where they can hone their presentation skills and practice responding to questions
  • Foster collaborations between VOKC investigator with directors of core laboratories at VUMC and investigators from laboratories at Vanderbilt Univeristy by sharing research capabilities and interests
  • Provide senior investigators within VOKC with the opportunity to present early work for feedback and critical review from colleagues
  • Invite pioneering renal researchers from around the world to share latest findings with VOKC investigator

Past Presenters

Jan. 7, 2022Colin Reily, PhDImmunoglobulins and Pathobiology of IgA Nephropathy
Jan. 14, 2022Susan B. Gurley, MD, PhDACE2 in 2022 – A Focus on the Kidney
Jan. 21, 2022Adriana Hung, MD, MPHGenetic Determinants of Diabetic Kidney Disease
Feb. 4, 2022Reena Rao, PhDNew pathogenic roles of vasopressin type-2 receptors
Feb. 11, 2022Gabriel Loeb, MD, PhDProtective Effects of Renal G protein-coupled Estrogen Receptor in Hypertension
Feb. 18, 2022Billy Hudson, PhDGoodpasture’s Disease: A Window into the Architecture and Function of the Kidney Filter
Feb. 25, 2022Arohan R. Subramanya, MD, FASNAmplifying Potassium Sensing and Responsiveness in the Kidney via WNK Kinases
March 4, 2022William Fissell, MDOvercoming the Dedifferentiation of Cell Culture Stress in Renal Tubule Cells
March 18, 2022Moshe Levy, MDThe Role of Nuclear Receptors in Regulation of Metabolism and Disease
March 25, 2022Marcus Bitzer, MDMicroRNAs: Disease modulators with complex functions
April 8, 2022W. David Merryman, PhDTargeting Cadherin-11 for Chronic Kidney Disease
April 22, 2022Kerri Cavanaugh, MD, MHSTesting innovations to improve communication healthcare visit information to patients & caregivers
April 29, 2022Ronak Lakhia, MDGenetic and Epigenetic Regulators of Polycystic Kidney Disease
May 6, 2022Robert J. Coffey, Jr., MDRecent Progress onExtracellular Vesicles and Nanoparticles: Tracing Footsteps of DPEP1
May 13, 2022Shuvo Roy, PhDConstructing an Implantable Bioartificial Kidney
May 20, 2022Mary Choi, MDMitochondria and Necroptosis –New Insights into Human and Experimental Kidney Disease
May 27, 2022Bethany Birkelo, DOCOVID-19-associated Acute Kidney Injury
May 27, 2022Kuniko HunterTGFB and Metformin Mediate Substrate Metabolism in Vitro
Jan. 8, 2021Jorge Gamboa, MD, PhDBioenergetic and Structural Impairment of Skeletal Muscle in Chronic Kidney Disease
Jan. 22, 2021Carl Oberg, MD, PhDPhysiology of Solute and Water Transport Across Glomerular Capillary Walls
Jan. 29, 2021Anna Greka, MD, PhDMembrane proteins and disrupted mechanisms of cellular homeos
Feb. 5, 2021Brian Rini, MD, FASCOUpdates on Biology and Clinical Approach to Metastatic Kidney Cancer
Feb. 12, 2021Eman Gohar, PhDProtective Effects of Renal G protein-coupled Estrogen Receptor in Hypertension
Feb. 19, 2021John P Fisher, PhD3D Printing for Engineering Complex Tissues
Feb. 26, 2021Oliver Devuyst, MDFrom Rare to Common: The Genetic Architecture of Kidney Disease
March 5, 2021Marcus Moeller, MDThe glomerular filter as electrical power house
March 12, 2021Benjamin "Beno" Freedman, PhDHuman Kidney Organoids for Therapy Development
March 19, 2021Jan Kielstein, MDExtracorporeal removal of pathogens - why and how?
March 26, 2021Craig Brooks, PhDIL-22 Promotes Nephrotoxin induced AKI through Activation of the DNA Damage Response
April 2, 2021Jason Wertheim, MD PhDRegenerative Technologies for (Re)Building Tissues: Scaffolds and Cellular Populations
April 16, 2021Andrew Terker, MD, PhDPotassium channels you’ve never heard of: in kidney health and disease
April 23, 2021Javier Jaramillo Morales, MD and Melis Sahinoz, MDMitochondrial function in the skeletal muscle of patients with chronic kidney disease and heart failure
April 30, 2021Matthew H. Wilson, MD, PhDAdventures in Engineering Gene Therapy for Cystinuria
May 14, 2021Fabian Bock, MD, PhDRac1 promotes renal epithelial collecting duct integrity
May 21, 2021Selene Colon , PhDThe Complex Role of Peroxidasin in Injury
Sept. 10, 2021Combined with KPT: Peter Nickerson, MDHLA molecular mismatch: A Tool for Precision in Transplant Medicine
Sept. 17, 2021Michelle Reyzer, PhDImaging Mass Spectrometry: Applications to Biology
Sept. 24, 2021JP Cartailler, PhD, and Leesa Sampson, PhDBioinformatics and Informatics Services Offered by Creative Data Solutions, a Vanderbilt Shared Resource
Oct. 8, 2021Navjot Pabla, PhDProtein Kinase Inhibitors and Acute Kidney Injury
Oct. 15, 2021David M Patrick, MD, PhDCardiovascular Disease and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Mechanistic Insights
Oct. 22, 2021Megan G. Behringer, PhDEvolutionary Traps: How can experimental evolution inform medicine and biomedical research?
Oct. 29, 2021Ali Gharavi, MDGenomic Medicine in Nephrology
Nov. 12, 2021Corina Borza, PhDDiscoidin Domain Receptor 1 Contributes to Kidney Inflammation and Fibrosis by Promoting the Phosphorylation of Breakpoint Cluster Region Protein and STAT3
Nov. 19, 2021Matt Luther, MDAldosterone, Exosomes and Renal Sodium Channels
Dec. 3, 2021Ken Lau, PhDConstructing and Validating a Human Pre-Cancer Atlas
Dec. 10, 2021JP Arroyo, MD, PhDVasopressin and the Local Response to Extracellular Fluid Tonicity Changes
Dec. 17, 2021Janos Peti-Peterdi, MD, PhDA New View of Macula Densa Cells in Renal
Jan. 10, 2020Susan Ziolkowski, MDRethinking Sarcopenia and the Obesity Paradox in CKD
Jan. 17, 2020Ming-zhi Zhang, MDMyeloid Cyclooxygenase 2 in Renal Physiology and Pathophysiology
Jan. 31, 2020Denise Marciano, MD, PhDMechanisms of tissue morphogenesis in the kidney
Feb. 7, 2020Brad H. Rovin, MD, FACP, FASNKidney Biopsy-Based Management of Immunosuppression for Patients with Lupus Nephritis
Feb. 21, 2020Leslie Gewin, MDRenal tubular beta-catenin protects in AKI to CKD
Feb. 28, 2020Brandon Kistler, PhD, RDNutrition during Hemodialysis: Current Evidence and Opportunitites for Growth
March 6, 2020Lorraine Ware, MDThe Aster Clinical Trial: Are New Treatments for Sepsis-Induced AKI Blooming?
April 17, 2020Kuniko Hunter, graduate studentAMPK – and non-canonical TGFb-signaling mediate in vitro differentiation and metabolic reprogramming of human renal tubule epithelial cells
May 1, 2020Kensei Taguchi, MD, PhDCyclin G1-mediated dedifferentiation of kidney tubular cells modulates AKI to CKD transition
May 8, 2020Kerri Cavanaugh, MD, MHSEvaluating Communication as a Key Determinant in Hemodialysis Care
May 29, 2020Edward Siew, MD, MSCIIntermediate Clinical and Patient-Centered Outcomes After Acute Kidney Injury
Sept. 11, 2020Raymond Harris, MDRole of Macrophage IRF4 In Response to Ischemic Kidney Injury
Sept. 18, 2020Elena Pokidysheva, PhDA COL4A3 variant provides opportunity to uncover function and dysfunction of glomerular BM suprastructure in Alport disease
Oct. 2, 2020Ryan Hsi, MDSelective versus empiric strategies for reducing kidney stone recurrence
Oct. 16, 2020Lauren Woodard, PhDGenome Engineering of Stem Cells for Kidney Regneration
Oct. 30, 2020Yu Pan (Penny)
Nov. 6, 2020Roberto Vanacore, PhDInsights into the Role of Post-Translational Modifications of Collagen in Tissue Functions and Disease
Nov. 13, 2020John Stafford, MD, PhDSex Differences in Cardiometabolic Disease; Implications for CKD
Nov. 20, 2020Antonis Hatzopoulos PhD, FAHAMechanisms of Tissue Repair and Regeneration
Dec. 4, 2020Khaled Abdel-Kader, MDReal-Time Population Health Management Using the EHR
Jan. 11, 2019Matthias Kretzler, MDPrecision Medicine for FSGS: The Neptune Experience
Jan. 18, 2019Vivek Kasinath, MDActivation of Fibroblastic Reticular Cells in Kidney Lymph Node during Crescentic Glomerulonephritis
Jan. 25, 2019Ebele Umeukeje, MDPatient-Centered Approaches to Reducing Kidney Disease Disparities
Feb. 1, 2019Neal Paragas, PhDCell-Specific Image-Guided Transcriptomics of Acute Kidney Injury
Feb. 15, 2019Bennett Landman, PhDOpportunities for Machine Learning with Radiology: Learning to Improve Patient Care with ImageVU's 100 Trillion Pixels
Feb. 22, 2019Kelly Birdwell, MD, MSCIAPOL1 and Kidney Transplant Outcomes
March 1, 2019Ashley Pitzer, PhDContribution of ASC-inflammasome to vascular injury and dysfunction: Role of RNA Receptor RIG-I
March 8, 2019Craig Brook, PhDQuantifying organellar dynamics in kidney tissue with structured illumination microscopy
March 15, 2019Alfred Cheung, MDAVF Maturation Failure
March 22, 2019Annet Kirabo, DVM, MSc, PhD, FAHASalt-Sensitivity in Hypertension and Renal Inflammation: A Role of Oxidative Lipid Modifications
April 5, 2019Adriana Hung, MD, MPHComparative Effectiveness of SGLT2 in Euglycemic DKD: Bone Health and Lower Limb Amputation; Genetics of DKD in the MVP
April 12, 2019Paul Voziyan, PhDMass spectrometry reveals macromolecular damage in the kidney
April 19, 2019Devika Nair, MDPsychological and Spiritual Support for Vulnerable Patients in Person-Centered Kidney Disease Care
April 26, 2019Maya Vinzing, PhDPreclinical Safety Tesing in Cardiovascular Development at Bayer
May 3, 2019Kirk Campbell, MDNovel Mediators of Podocyte Injury in Glomerular Disease Progression
May 10, 2019Kyle Brown, PhDStructure-Function Studies of Integrin a1b1
May 17, 2019Bo Faust, PhDProfilin-mediated actin allocation regulates the growth of epithelial microvilli
May 24, 2019Dirk Thomas, MD, PhD and Mario Berger, PhDHow to address the kidney in Early Drug Development; Biomarkers in the Kidney Arena, New Insights
Sept. 6, 2019Takamune Takahashi, MD, PhDProtein Tyrosine Phosphatase as a Therapeutic Target for Diabetic Nephropathy
Sept. 13, 2019David P. Basile, PhDThe_17 Mediation of Repair and Disease Progression Following Kidney Injury: Two Sides of the Same (cyto) Coin
Sept. 20, 2019Lauren Scarfe, PhDModeling AKI to CKD Transition in Mice
Sept. 27, 2019Sergey Budko, PhDMysteries of mutations in Alport syndrome
Oct. 4, 2019Volker Haase, MDMitochondrial dysfunction in renal pathogenesis
Oct. 11, 2019Nick Ferrell, PhDTissue Mechanics in Diabetic Kidney Disease
Oct. 18, 2019Venkata Sabbisetti, PhDNovel therapeutic strategies for kidney diseases
Nov. 1, 2019Cassianne Robinson-Cohen, PhDMendelian Randomization and CKD Mineral Bone Disorder
Nov. 15, 2019Ambra Pozzi, PhDFused in Sarcoma: a DNA-RNA binding protein involved in fibrosis
Nov. 22, 2019Subhashini Bolisetty, PhDDifferent Faces of Ferritin in Acute Kidney Injury
Dec. 6, 2019Nisha Bansal, MDNew Strategies for Blood Pressure Management in Hemodialysis Patients
Dec. 13, 2019Shuto Ishibe, MDPathobiology and Insights into the treatment of nephrotic syndrome
Jan. 19, 2018Ryan M. Allen, PhDLipoprotein-bound, microbial small RNAs in health and disease - A work in progress
Jan. 26, 2018Daisuke Katagiri, MD, PhD, FASNNitric Oxide and Endothelial-Podocyte Crosstalk in Diabetic Nephropathy
Feb. 2, 2018Anupam Agarwal, MDLymphangiogenesis in the pathogenesis of acute kidney injury
Feb. 9, 2018Manuel Chiusa, PhDNuclear DDR1 Story!
Feb. 16, 2018Richard Breyer, PhDAsprosin: Does this hormone make me look fat?
Feb. 23, 2018Laura Dember, MDPragmatic Trials in Dialysis: An Appealing Alterantive?
March 9, 2018William Fissell, MDIt Takes a Village: Implantable Artifical Kidney
March 16, 2018Matthew Wilson, MD, PhDAdventures in Genome Engineering for Kidney Disease
April 6, 2018Elizabeth Phillips, MDPreventing Serious Immunologically Medicated Adverse Drug Reactions as a Model for Personalized Medicine
April 27, 2018Amy Major, PhDPreventing Serious Immunologically Medicated Adverse Drug Reactions as a Model for Personalized Medicine
May 4, 2018Roberto Vanacore, PhDMicroRNA-22 as a Potential Pathogenic Modifier of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Associated Kidney Disease
May 11, 2018Stefan Somlo, MDRole of LOXL2-mediated collagen crosslinking in diabetic nephropathy
May 18, 2018Patrick H. Nachman, MD, FASNThe Molecular Genetics of Polysystic Kidney and Liver Diseases
May 25, 2018Marika Manolopoulou, MDThe Fast Pace of Change in Membranous Nephropathy
Sept. 7, 2018Alp Ikizler, MDTGF-beta Signaling in Proximal Tubules Affects Chronic Injury Response Through Cell Cycle
Sept. 14, 2018Steven Coca, DO, MSMacronutrient Utilization in Advanced Kidney Disease: Implications for Protein Energy Wasting Syndrome
Sept. 21, 2018Jonathan Scott Maltzman, MD, PhD, FASTLeveraging Biomarkers in Chronic Kidney Disease: Current and Future Applications
Sept. 28, 2018Ming-Zhi Zhang, MDProtective immune responses to CMV in solid organ transplantation
Oct. 5, 2018Matthew Semler, MD, MSCIGender Differences in the Development of Glomerulopathy in Mice with an EGFR Agin0of-Function Mutation
Oct. 12, 2018ASN PracticeBalanced Crystaloids versus Saline in Critically Ill Adults
Oct. 19, 2018Motoko Yanagita, MD, PhDThe Mechanism of AKI to CKD
Nov. 2, 2018Stellor Nlandu Khodo, PhDEpithelial beta-Catenin Activation In Chronic Renal Injury
Nov. 9, 2018Julie Wright Nunes, MD, MPHKidney Disease Prevention: When Research Meets Reality
Nov. 16, 2018Ethan Lippmann, PhDModeling and Understanding Neurovascular Function and Disease Using Human iPSCs and Engineering Strategies
Nov. 30, 2018Leonardo Riella, MD, PhDInnovation in Transplantation: From Bench to Bedside
Dec. 7, 2018Lauren Woodard, PhDKidney Stem Cells: From New to Old and Back Again
Dec. 14, 2018Sandeep Mallipattu, MDKrüppel-Like Factors: Three Fingers in Control of Kidney Disease
Jan. 11, 2017Jim Shayman, MDLysosomal Biology in Rare and Common Diseases
Jan.18, 2017Tess Dupre, PhDSphingolipids in cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury
Jan. 25, 2017Jim Shayman, MDLysosomal Biology in Rare and Common Diseases
Feb. 1, 2017Jens Mark Titze, MDSalty food induces body water conservation and decreases fluid intake
Feb. 8, 2017Jens Mark Titze, MDHigh-salt intake reprioritizes osmolyte and energy metabolism for body fluid conservation
Feb. 15, 2017Matthew Sparks, MDVascular Type 1 Angiotensin Receptors in blood Pressure Regulation
Feb. 22, 2017John McLean, PhDBig Data in Untargeted Metabolomics
March 1, 2017Leslie Gewin, MDTGF-beta and the Goldilocks Principle
March 15, 2017Hanako Kobayashi, PhDRenal Interstitial Cells: kidney development, Erythropoietin regulation, and fibrosis
March 29, 2017Bruce Molitoris, MDGentamicin, a link to unlocking monogenic premature stop codon diseases
April 5, 2017Craig Brooks, PhDCycling towards Fibrosis: Cell Cycle and Autophagy Proteins Drive Kidney Fibrosis
April 12, 2017Aseel Alsouqi, PhDTissue Sodium Accumulation: Studies in Pre-Hypertensive and ESRD Patients
April 26, 2017Ming-Zhi Zhang, MDMacrophage CXO-2 in kidney injury
May 3, 2017Kathleen Liu, MDAKI Biomarkers: A Work in Progress
May 24, 2017Edward Siew, MD, MSCIPost-AKI Outcomes: Beyond the Fall
Sept. 8, 2017Raymond Harris, MDThe Role of the Erbb Family in Acute Kidney Injury
Sept. 15, 2017Volker Haase, MDOxygen metabolism in Renal Disease
Sept. 22, 2017Eric Delpire, PhDNovel mutations in human SLC12A transporters: Challenges of unique clinical cases
Sept. 29, 2017Michael King, PhDCollaboration Opportunities in Biomedical Engineering/King Lab Research on Platelets and Metastasis
Oct. 6, 2017Philip Halloran, MDReschedule - Combining KPT with RRC
Oct. 13, 2017Subramaniam Pennathur, MDMyeloperoxidase, CKD and Atherosclerosis
Oct. 27, 2017Rafael Kramann, MDPerivascular Progenitors in Fibrotic and Cardiovascular Disease
Nov. 10, 2017Jerrod S. Denton, PhDExploring the therapeutic potential of renal inward rectifier potassium channels
Nov. 17, 2017Khaled Abdel-Kader, MD, MSRisk Stratifying Older Adults with CKD
Dec. 1, 2017Jay Bhave, MD, PhDRole of Hypobromous Acid in Tissue Biology
Dec. 8, 2017Matthew S. Shotwell, PhDUsing Leftover Blood from Clinical Labs to Study Individual and Population Pharmacokinetics
Dec. 15, 2017Erin Plosa, MDEpithelial B1 Integrin Regulates Lung Innate Immunity
Sept. 7, 2016Billy Hudson, PhDGoodpasture's disease: a window into the dawn of the extracellular matrix and multicellular tissues
Sept. 14, 2016Nick Ferrell, PhDMechanotransduction in the Kidney
Sept. 21, 2016Daniel Hu, MDMuscle-Kidney Communication via the Myokine Irisin Suppresses Renal Metabolic Reprogramming and Fibrosis in Mice
Sept. 28, 2016Matthew Tyska, PhDImaging with STORM and SIM: a revolution in resolution
Oct. 5, 2016Cassieanne Robinson-Cohen, PhDRace, Genetic Variation, and Mineral Metabolism Disturbances
Oct. 12, 2016Craig Duvall, PhDOptimization of Molecularly Targeted RNAi Therapies Against Undruggable Targets; A Missed Opportunity in Renal Diseases?
Oct. 19, 2016Agnes Fogo, MDMechanisms of Progression - Beyond the Glomerulus
Oct. 26, 2016Matt Luther, MDEpoxyeicosatrienoic Acids and Insulin Sensitivity
Nov. 2, 2016Joshua P. Fessel, MD, PhDMitochondrial Biology and Techniques for Study
Nov. 9, 2016Rachel Forbes, MD; Jessica Overstreet, PhD; Sharidan Parr, MD; Jianchun Chen, MD; Huifang Cheng, MDASN Practice: Oral Abstract Presentations
Nov. 30, 2016Alexander Staruschenko, PhDCalcium Signaling as an Emerging Determinant of Podocyte Injury in Diabetic Nephropathy
Dec. 7, 2016Jose Gomez, PhDA New Role for Sox6 in Blood Pressure Regulation
Dec. 14, 2016Mark de Caestecker, MBBS, PhDThe Case for Phenotypic vs. Target-based Drug-Discovery for Acute Kidney Injury

Contact the Reneal Research Conference organizers:

Matthew Wilson, PhD, MD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology & Hypertension


William Fissell, IV, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology & Hypertension


For more information and questions, please email Karen Thompson, Program Manager, or call (615) 343-5400.