The George M. O'Brien Michigan Kidney Translational Core Center at the University of Michigan has been established to assist investigators and clinicians worldwide in kidney disease research. Core services are available to Center researchers to promote their basic, translational and clinical kidney disease research.

Available Cores Include:

The Applied Systems Biology Core

  • One-on-one assistance using in-person and web-based portal communication for development and analysis of systems biology ('omics) or other complex research projects
  • Semi-structured workflow development for data integration into specific functional contexts for scientists with recurrent data analysis needs and limited supervision requirements
  • Access to a web-based search engine and database, called Nephroseq, which provides user-friendly analytic tools for all published and several unpublished genome-wide expression studies of patients with kidney diseases

For services, contact: nephinfo1@med.umich.edu 

The Clinical Phenotyping and Resource Biobank Core

The Clinical Phenotyping and Resource Biobank Core (C-PROBE) has information and biosamples (blood, urine, kidney biopsy material, including RNA) on a diverse population of over 800 research participants. In order to obtain permission to use the clinical data and/or biosamples, approval of a Research Proposal is required. Upon approval, investigators have access to:

Phenotypic Data

Biological Specimens

  • Urine Supernatant – 48.8 mL (Maximum distributed for any ancillary study is 1.0 mL)
  • Urine Pellet (re-suspended in RNAlater) – 0.4 mL
  • Blood Plasma – 19.2 mL
  • Blood Serum – 9.6 mL
  • RNA Paxgene tube (1)
  • DNA – DNA Paxgene tube (1) or DNA processed with Gentra system 

The Bioinformatics Core

This core will provide guidance and assistance to Center researchers at all stages of research, from experimental design to data generation and analysis of molecular profiling data. Another marker of success will be the imperceptible boundaries between the Center’s Cores. The Bioinformatics Core will be tightly connected with the DNA sequencing core and the Applied System’s Biology Core for smooth coordination of data transfer and analysis and to provide deeper analysis of the project data, and to combine the different molecular profiling analyses.

The Bioinformatics Core can provide assistance with all types of sequence analyses including:

  • RNA-Seq
  • ChIP-Seq
  • Exome sequencing
  • Methylation / Epigenetics sequence analysis
  • Other custom bioinformatics analysis
  • Building databases and assisting with data infrastructure
  • Developing Methods and Tools 

The Administrative Core

The Administrative Core facilitates basic science research, related to kidney disease by providing discounts for core services. Discounts are available after application approval for the following core services:

  • Bioinformatics Core
  • DNA Microarray and Sequencing Core
  • Epigenomics Core
  • Flow Cytometry Core
  • Metabolomics Core
  • Microscopy & Image Analysis Laboratory
  • Protemoics & Peptide Synthesis Core
  • Transgenic Animal Model Core

Pilot Grant Program

The Pilot and Feasibility Study Grant Program (P/FS)of the George M. O'Brien Michigan Kidney Translational Core Center at the University of Michigan, provides funding up to $40,000/year for up to two years for new and innovative approaches – clinical, translational, and basic science – to study kidney disease. This NIH/NIDDK funded program provides funds to promote research initiatives by new and established University of Michigan faculty in the area of kidney disease.

The goal of the program is to enable investigators to generate preliminary data sufficient for a successful application for major research funding from national funding agencies. Particularly encouraged are applications from junior investigators and from investigators external to the renal community who have training and expertise that can be applied in innovative fashion to the study of kidney disease. RFA's will be announced on this page. 

Summer Student Program

The Medical Student Training Program in Kidney Disease allows medical students to conduct research under the direction of an established scientist in the areas of basic science, systems biological, translational, clinical, or health services research in kidney disease. This 8-week research experience is funded by NIDDK and provides a weekly stipend.

In addition to research, the students attend weekly lectures by Nephrology faculty and also participate in activities of the University of Michigan Student Biomedical Research Program, including the Fall SBRP Research Symposium. The on-line application and faculty mentors can be found on the Summer Student web page.


December 13, 2018

Applications Due by January 14, 2019

May 17, 2017

 Catherine Kim, MD, Phd awarded one of the three 2017 Pilot and Feasibility Grants for the George M. O'Brien Kidney Center, for "Renal disease and the menopausal transition". 

May 17, 2017

Pratima Sharma, MD awarded one of the three 2017 Pilot and Feasibility Grants for the George M. O'Brien Kidney Center, for "Unbiased glycoproteomic approach for risk prediction for chronic kidney disease progression among liver transplant recipients".