Our Basic science faculty study the molecular, biochemical and cellualr aspects of kidney-related research, while our Clinical Research faculty focus on the epidemiology, clinical trials, outcomes-based or other clinical and translational studies

Basic Science Training Program

A three-year program with a first clinical year followed by two research years. In this track, the trainee acquires skills predominantly in the molecular, biochemical and cellular aspects of kidney-related research, and develops an understanding of how this basic research may be transplated from the bench to the bedside. Most individuals understaking laboratory research training are supported in their research years by an NIH Training Grant, "Research Training in Renal Disease" (Shankland, PI), and must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

  • Emphasis will be on acquisition of laboratory skills, experimental design, data analysis, and an in-depth understanding of the relevant research literature
  • Supplemental training and experience in Immunology, Biochemistry, Pathology, Biologic Structure and other departments
  • Options for formal coursework in molecular biology, statistics, and mechanisms of disease. Other topics may be pursued depending on trainee interest.
  • Biomedical research integrity training is required to retain NIH training grant support.

We strongly encourage PhDs to apply. The goals are to enable trainees to utilize their molecular and cellular skills and knowledge towards disease-based processes. PhD trainees will specifically focus on kidney injury and repair.

MD/PhD Curriculum

  • Cell Culture basic methods with cell lines, generation of primary cells development of cell based assays with examples of functional readouts.
  • Molecular biology: from PCR methods through to molecular cloning of genes. Use of bacteria to generate copies of DNA sequencing.
  • Mouse genetics: modern genetic tools and pitfalls
  • Bioinformatics platforms and their uses: multiplexing, arrays, mini-arryas. Analysis of data.
  • Designing experiements: controls, timepoints, timecourses, critical endpoints, basic statistical approaches

PhD Curriculum

  • Nephrogenesis and anatomy
  • Kidney physiology
  • Kidney pathologies terminologies and specialized cells of the kidney
  • Kidney related gene defects in humans
  • Systemic diseases that have kidney disease as a component
  • Vascular and metabolic and endorcine consequences of chronic kidney disease

Clinical/Translational Training Program

A three-year training program with a first clinical year followed by two research years focusing on epidemiology, clinical trails, and outcomes-based or other clinical and translational studies. Most individuals completing this training seek to pursue academic careers in clinical or translational and outcomes research. Trainees are supported in their research years by an NIH training grant, "Research Training in Renal Disease (Shankland, PI), and must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.


  • Optional formal coursework leading to a certificate or master's degree in epidemiology (MPH or MS) with emphasis on epidemiology, biostatistics, data management, and research design. Translational topics in other fields may be pursued, e.g. pharmacokinetics, biomarker discovery.
  • Seminars and tutorials in research design, research mentodology, and statistical methods.
  • Biomedical research integrity training is required to retain NIH training grant support.


Clinical/translational kidney research is conducted predominantly through our Kidney Research Institute, a unique collaboration between Northwest Kidney Centers and UW Medicine. Our focus is on developing early detection, prevention and treatment of kidney disease and its complications. The Kidney Research Institute closely collaborates with our investigators at the Veteran’s Affairs Health Services Research & Development. Our basic science kidney research is concentrated at our South Lake Union campus. 

Fellows gain expertise in a broad range of public health problems by collaborating with over 150 faculty from the five deparments within the School of Public Health.

  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • Global Health
  • Health Services

Courses in the Department of Epidemiology provide a rigorous introduction to both observational studies and randomized controlled trials, primarily as they relate to investigation of disease etiology, evaluation of diagnostic and screening tests, therapeutic intervention, and disease prognosis.

Courses in the Department of Biostatistics cover quantitative techniques for analysis of data from medical studies: statistics, principles of estimation and hypothesis testing, sample size, evaluation of statistical significance, and survival analysis.