As part of its education and outreach program, the Vanderbilt O'Brien Kidney Center (VOKC) organizes two, intensive, five-day, in-person, hand-on and practical mouse kidney research workshops each year. 

These are designed for laboratory staff, trainees and/or faculty interested in learning more about the practical challenges of mouse kidney research, developing new skills and/or mastering techniques to transfer back to their own institutions. By the end of each course attendees will be sufficiently versed in these techniques to be able to set them up at their own institutions.

Mouse Kidney Injury Workshop

Five-day, hands-on, supervised training workshop focused on kidney injury models, surgical techniques, tissue and body fluid collections, and renal function tests in mice

This is a hands-on, practical training course designed to teach surgical and phenotyping techniques for commonly used mouse renal injury models, including ischemia/reperfusion (IR), UUO, 5/6 nephrectomy and the cecal ligation and puncture model of AKI.

A panel of experts has been assembled to teach basic animal handling, drug administration, tissue and blood sampling techniques (Day 1), tissue harvesting and analyses (Day 2) and mouse surgery technique (Days 3 to 5) with lectures, training videos, practical demonstrations and hands-on practical training techniques.

The mouse kidney injury workshop will be held August 7th thru August 11th 2023.

By completion, participants will be sufficiently familiar with practical procedure to be able to set up the models in their own labs.

There is no other practical workshop like this anywhere!

Reasons to attend:

  • You plan to set up models of kidney injury in mice but have no practical expertise locally
  • You have new personnel joining your lab who need to be trained to study mouse kidney injury models, but you do not have personnel or time to do this yourself

Contact the Mouse Kidney Injury Workshop organizer:

Mark de Caestecker, MBBS, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology & Hypertension


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

Renal Translational Pathology Workshop

The Vanderbilt O’Brien Kidney Center (VOKC) is organizing a two-day, comparative renal pathology workshop with didactic and hands-on training in qualitative and quantitative renal pathology Jan. 25-26, 2024 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville. Drs. Agnes Fogo and Haichun Yang from VUMC’S Division of Renal Pathology have developed a virtual, slide-based workshop to train pre-clinical investigators on the fundamentals of human and experimental renal pathology, focusing on similarities and differences between human disease and mouse models used to study these human diseases. They will be assisted by Dr. Charles Jennette from the Department of Pathology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Drs. Mark de Caestecker, Craig Brooks, and Raymond Harris from VUMC’s Division of Nephrology and Hypertension will be providing additional content expertise. The focus of the workshop will be to train investigators to understand the relevance of experimental models of human disease and to understand how to interpret and quantify histological findings using these models so they can bring this expertise back to their own institutions. Four topic areas (diabetic nephropathy; focal segmental glomerular sclerosis; acute kidney injury; and crescentic kidney disease) will be covered with the goal to train investigators to recognize: a) patterns of renal injury; b) similarities and differences between human and mouse models of kidney disease, as well as species and strain differences in renal pathology seen using different experimental models; and c) to be able to quantify cell specific pathologic changes using the appropriate histological staining. The format of the workshop will include lectures covering basic background about the human diseases, the mouse models used, the quantitative methods used to evaluate them, alternating with hands-on interactive training using computer-based virtual slides to illustrate the pathologies being discussed. Each student will be required to bring their own laptop.

Registration for this meeting is $450 for academia, and $900 for industry, and is limited to 20 attendees. To register for the workshop please complete the online survey here

You can also email Jennifer Rieke (  and/or Dr. Mark de Caestecker ( for more


Four topic areas will be covered over the two days.

On day one, attendees will receive an overview, samples preparation and staining, and use of Aperio Image Scope software. In the afternoon, programming will focus on diabetic kidney disease-human pathology, mouse models, mouse histology and quantification, and practice mouse histology.

Programming for day two will include FSGS, immune-mediated glomerular injury, and AKI and AKI>CKD transition. There will be the option in the afternoon of the third day to go over questions that come up over the course of the workshop, and to practice quantification of different mouse kidney pathologies.

Course application is open now through Nov. 15, 2023.

A maximum of 20 attendees will be selected based on their background experience and needs. Those that are not selected for the first year will be shortlisted for the following year, if required. To apply, please complete the following REDCap application and email the program manager.



Jennifer Rieke
Program Manager
Division of Nephrology and Hypertension
1161 21st Ave South, MCN S-3305
Nashville, TN 37232
Phone: 931-249-4010
Fax: 615-343-2675


Day 1

TimeAgenda Item
8 a.m.Overview of mouse renal pathology (Agnes Fogo)
8:45 a.m.AI applications in human and mouse kidney histopathology (Yuankai Huo)
9:30 a.m.

Quantitative histological analysis (Haichun Yang)

10:15 a.m.


10:30 a.m.

Diabetic kidney disease-human pathology (Agnes Fogo)

11:15 a.m.Diabetic models in mice (Ray Harris)
12:30 p.m.FSGS-human pathology and mouse model (Agnes Fogo)
1:30 p.m.Glomerular injury and quantification in mouse DN and FSGS models (Haichun Yang)
2:30 p.m.Preview digital imaging software (Haichun Yang)
2:45 p.m.Break
3 - 5 p.m.

Practice for semi-quantification - glomerular injury score (PAS), quantificaton-mesangial expansion (PAS) and glomerular matrix (Col IV staining) (Agnes Fogo and Haichun Yang)

6 p.m.Group outing in Nashville

Day 2

TimeAgenda Item
8 a.m.AKI-human pathology (Paisit Paueksakon)
8:45 a.m.

AKI and AKI-CKD models in mice (Mark de Caestecker and Craig Brooks)

9:30 a.m.

Tubular injury & interstitial fibrosis in AKI and AKI>CKD models (Haichun Yang)

10:15 a.m.


10:30 a.m.

Practice for semi-quantification-acute tubular injury score (PAS) and interstitial fibrosis (Sirius red and Col 1) (Agnes Fogo and Haichun Yang)



12:30 p.m.

Crescentic renal disease-human pathology (Charles Jennette)

1:15 p.m.

Crescentic renal disease models in mice (Charles Jennette)

2 p.m.

Glomerular crescent and necrosis quantification in mouse Crescentic model (Haichun Yang)

2:45 p.m.


3 p.m.

Practice for quantification - glomerular crescents and glomerular necrosis (PAS) (Agnes Fogo and Haichun Yang)

3 - 4:15 p.m.Feedback and closing remarks

*Each attendee will need to bring their own computer and preloaded with virtual slides and software provided via links before the meeting. Background key papers of individual human diseases and mouse models, and work sheets for scoring will also be provided.

Contact the Renal Pathology Workshop organizers:

Mark de Caestecker, MBBS, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology & Hypertension


Agnes Fogo, MD

Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology


For more information and questions, please email Jennifer Rieke, Program Manager, or call (615) 931-249-4010.