Education - Duke O'Brien Center for Kidney Research

Summer 2017
POWER Undergraduate Research Experience
Duke O'Brien Center for Kidney Research (DOCK)

Program Description

The Duke O'Brien Center for Kidney Research (DOCK) was established in 2012 with support of a P30 grant from the NIDDK.  The DOCK explores interactions between kidney disease, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.  An overarching goal to the DOCK is to develop future independent investigators in this field by stimulating interest in biomedical research.  Through the PrOgram to aWaken Early Interest in Research (POWER) program, selected undergraduates (or medical school-bound graduates) will

  • Perform cutting-edge research with a Duke investigator for 8 weeks during the summer of 2017 (June 5 – July 31). POWER students will receive hands-on training in clinical, translational, or basic science research.
  • Attend weekly seminars on biomedical research approaches and strategies.
  • Attend a DOCK-sponsored symposium on novel advances in the science of kidney and cardiovascular disease.
  • Present their work at an end-of-summer forum to summarize progress and propose future directions.
  • Receive career guidance from a dedicated research mentor.
  • Receive a $3,000 stipend to support living expenses during the experience.

2017 participants were selected and notified in March 2017.

**Duke University and the DOCK are committed to promoting diversity in the research workforce.  Women, under-represented minorities, and the disabled are strongly encouraged to apply.**

In addition to the POWER program, the Enrichment Program of the Duke O’Brien Center offers opportunities for research training of students, fellows, and junior faculty members pursuing projects that explore the interrelationship between progressive renal disease, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.   A list of opportunities includes:

  • A didactic course directed at trainees in nephrology (click here for the Nephrology Core Curriculum) and researchers at all levels studying mechanisms of cardiovascular disease
    The courses include existing successful course/lecture offerings at Duke but also an entirely new course offered in partnership with the Duke Cardiovascular Research Center (click here for CVRC schedule) to illustrate strategies and methods for studying the pathogenesis of hypertension, CKD, and cardiovascular disease. Together, these complementary curricula teach not only standard approaches for furthering the research mission of the DOCK but will also inculcate new researchers with an interest in translational projects that will elucidate the links between renal injury, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease in human patients.

  • A monthly seminar series (click here for Duke CVRC lecture series schedule) targeted to fellows, post-doctoral students, and junior and senior faculty presented by visiting discussants who have made seminal contributions to the understanding of kidney, hypertension, and/or vascular damage
    Once trained in the fundamentals and practice of nephrology and cardiology research, investigators require exposure to leaders in the field who can serve as role models and bring to the Duke O’Brien Center novel paradigms and approaches for the study of renal disease and vascular damage. Presentations by monthly speakers from within Duke’s ranks and from other institutions will ensure that our O’Brien Center persists on the leading edge of research in each of our core missions through continuous cross-fertilization of ideas and projects.

  • The annual DOCK symposium emphasizing novel findings in the fields of progressive renal disease and cardiovascular injury
    The DOCK sponsors an annual symposium at which users of the Center will present their work to facilitate the dissemination of novel findings across the institution. This symposium will emphasize the interrelationship between kidney disease, hypertension, and cardiovascular complications. The symposium will include addresses from invited keynote speakers. Presentations at this symposium should enhance the synergy between nephrology and cardiology researchers and promote further collaborations worthy of support from the Duke O’Brien Center.

  • Mini-sabbaticals are offered to train individuals in the effective practice of techniques employed within our research cores.
    The Duke O’Brien Center will also offer one-on-one training for researchers who would like to visit Duke, learn techniques critical to our Cores, and take these skills back to their home institutions. Such training will facilitate the study of renal and vascular disease around the globe and enhance the frequency of collaborations between institutions in this interdisciplinary research field. The Enrichment Program will offer travel subsidies to investigators meeting eligibility requirements of the DOCK. Please fill out the core request form if interested in a mini-sabbatical.

Together, these components will enrich exploration of the mechanisms through which progressive kidney disease contributes to hypertension and other cardiovascular complications (and vice versa) and raise awareness of the pathways through which CKD increases the risk of deleterious outcomes among patients with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. Thus, the DOCK will stimulate collaborations between nephrologists and cardiology researchers both at Duke and beyond our institution, and, through the Enrichment Program; it will help train a new generation of multidisciplinary scientists who will pioneer novel interventions for the treatment of both renal and cardiovascular disease.


5th Annual Duke O’Brien Center for Kidney Research Symposium
Thursday June 29, 2017