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Research student with pipette in a lab setting

Student experience and research opportunities

The nuSURF program is 10 weeks, typically, during a summer break.

During this program, you will receive introductions into all research areas within Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. studies. The nuSURF Program is track-agnostic of the specialization tracks within Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. All of Mayo Clinic biomedical research tracks may be related and part of nephrology and urology investigations.

The nuSURF curriculum provides:

  • Twice-weekly didactic sessions:
    • Structure and function of the kidney and urogenital (UG) track components
    • Genetics applied to kidney and UG disease
    • Diseases directly affecting kidney and UG
  • Access to basic and clinical nephrology and urologic faculty
  • Abstract, poster, and oral presentation instruction
  • Access to special seminars and journal clubs
  • Opportunities for clinical exposure to nephrology and urology

Additionally, as a student, you will:

  • Write an abstract on your nuSURF research project
  • Present five to seven minute talks of your summer research to nephrology and urology faculty (annual Kidney Extravaganza)
  • Make a poster of your nuSURF research project
  • Attend (travel and housing included) and present your research poster at the KUH (NIDDK) Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium

KUH (NIDDK) Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium

Annually the KUH (Kidney, Urology, and Hematology) division of NIDDK holds an end of Summer Symposium to bring together more than 100 undergraduates from the seven similar programs around the U.S. (Emory, Harvard, U Alabama-Birmingham, UT Southwestern, UT San Antonio, Vanderbilt, and Yale). This two-day symposium provides the opportunity for students to present their work, meet, and network with other undergraduates and faculty doing kidney and urology work. The program also includes presentations from NIDDK leadership, a featured scientific speaker, near-peer discussion panels, and a graduate and professional school admissions question and answer session. There are often new tools and technique sessions, as well as social gatherings.

Previous KUH Summer Undergraduate Research Symposia

A focus on mentorship

A focus on mentorship

In-line with our culture, we aim to prioritize a positive experience in the labs of established mentors. We also prioritize the development and the representation of minorities and women in urology research. This mentorship philosophy and connection does not end with the summer. Your mentor with stay in touch to follow up on your individual progress. We also keep in touch via a LinkedIn group that allows the Director and previous nuSURF students to continue to interact and network.

Alumni outcomes

Learn more about peer-reviewed papers, research grants, and the professional success of past nuSURF participants.

Peer-reviewed papers

See the full list of peer-reviewed papers from nuSURF participants.

  • Reynolds CJ, Turin DR, and Romero MF. "Transporters and Tubule Crystals in the Insect Malpighian Tubule." Curr Opin Insect Sci. 2021 May 24;47:82-89. doi: 10.1016/j.cois.2021.05.003. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34044181.

  • Brady CT, Dugandžić A, Parker M, and Romero MF. "NBCe1, an Electrogenic Na+ Bicarbonate (carbonate) Cotransporter, in Epithelia." In: Ion Channels and Transporters of Epithelia in Health and Disease, 2nd edition, edited by Hamilton KL and Devor DC. New York: Springer (Am Physiol Soc), 2021.

  • Saw JJ, Sivaguru M, Wilson EM, Dong Y, Sanford RA, Fields CJ, Cregger MA, Merkel AC, Bruce WJ, Weber JR, Lieske JC, Krambeck AE, Rivera ME, Large T, Lange D, Bhattacharjee AS, Romero MF, Chia N, and Fouke BW. "In Vivo Entombment of Bacteria and Fungi during Calcium Oxalate, Brushite and Struvite Urolithiasis." Kidney360:, 2020. [PMID & PMCID, in progress].

  • Franchi F, Peterson KM, Quandt K, Domnick D, Kline TL, Olthoff M, Parvizi M, Tolosa EJ, Torres VE, Harris PC, Fernandez-Zapico ME, and Rodriguez-Porcel MG. "Impaired Hedgehog-Gli1 Pathway Activity Underlies the Vascular Phenotype of Polycystic Kidney Disease." Hypertension. 2020 Dec;76(6):1889-1897. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.15483. Epub 2020 Oct 5. PubMed PMID: 33012205; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7666088.

  • Kahveci AS, Barnatan TT, Kahveci A, Adrian AE, Arroyo J, Eirin A, Harris PC, Lerman A, Lerman LO, Torres VE, and Irazabal MV. "Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Abnormalities Contribute to Decreased Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Expression and Renal Disease Progression in Early Experimental Polycystic Kidney Disease." Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Mar 14;21(6). doi: 10.3390/ijms21061994. PubMed PMID: 32183375; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7139316.

  • Fernandez K, Korinek M, Camp J, Lieske J, and Holmes D. "Automatic Detection of Calcium Phosphate Deposit Plugs at the Terminal Ends of Kidney Tubules." Healthc Technol Lett. 2019 Dec 6;6(6):271-274. doi: 10.1049/htl.2019.0086. eCollection 2019 Dec. PubMed [citation] PMID: 32038870, PMCID: PMC6952263.

  • Kashyap S, Hein KZ, Chini CC, Lika J, Warner GM, Bale LK, Torres VE, Harris PC, Oxvig C, Conover CA, and Chini EN. "Metalloproteinase PAPP-A Regulation of IGF-1 Contributes to Polycystic Kidney Disease Pathogenesis." JCI Insight. 2020 Feb 27;5(4). pii: 135700. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.135700. PubMed [citation] PMID: 31990681, PMCID: PMC7101148.

  • Cabrero P, Terhzaz S, Dornan AJ, Ghimire S, Holmes HL, Turin DR, Romero MF, Davies SA, and Dow JAT. "Specialized Stellate Cells Offer a Privileged Route for Rapid Water Flux in Drosophila Renal Tubule." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jan 21;117(3):1779-1787. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1915943117. Epub 2020 Jan 6. PubMed [citation] PMID: 31907321, PMCID: PMC6983416.

  • Chang MH, Brown MR, Liu Y, Gainullin VG, Harris PC, Romero MF, and Lieske JC. "Cl(-) and H(+) Coupling Properties and Subcellular Localizations of Wildtype and Disease-associated Variants of the Voltage-gated Cl(-)/H(+) Exchanger ClC-5." J Biol Chem. 2020 Feb 7;295(6):1464-1473. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.011366. Epub 2019 Dec 18. PubMed [citation] PMID: 31852738, PMCID: PMC7008381.

  • Wood BG, and Urban MW. "Detecting Kidney Stones Using Twinkling Artifacts: Survey of Kidney Stones with Varying Composition and Size." Ultrasound Med Biol. 2020 Jan;46(1):156-166. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2019.09.008. Epub 2019 Oct 18. PubMed [citation] PMID: 31635759, PMCID: PMC6961807.

  • Hommos MS, De Vriese AS, Alexander MP, Sethi S, Vaughan L, Zand L, Bharucha K, Lepori N, Rule AD, and Fervenza FC. "The Incidence of Primary vs Secondary Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis: A Clinicopathologic Study." Mayo Clin Proc. 2017 Dec;92(12):1772-1781. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.09.011. Epub 2017 Oct 27. PubMed PMID: 29110886; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5790554.

  • Kashyap S, Warner G, Hu Z, Gao F, Osman M, Al Saiegh Y, Lien KR, Nath K, and Grande JP. "Cardiovascular Phenotype in Smad3 Deficient Mice with Renovascular Hypertension." PLoS One. 2017 Oct 26;12(10):e0187062. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0187062. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 29073282; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5658153.

  • Ferrero A, Gutjahr R, Henning A, Kappler S, Halaweish A, Abdurakhimova D, Peterson Z, Montoya J, Leng S, and McCollough C. "Renal Stone Characterization using High Resolution Imaging Mode on a Photon Counting Detector CT System." Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2017 Mar 9;10132. pii: 101323J. doi: 10.1117/12.2255651. Epub 2017 Feb 11. PubMed PMID: 28458443; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5407385.

  • Eirin A, Zhu XY, Puranik AS, Tang H, McGurren KA, van Wijnen AJ, Lerman A, and Lerman LO. "Mesenchymal Stem Cell-derived Extracellular Vesicles Attenuate Kidney Inflammation." Kidney Int. 2017 Jul;92(1):114-124. doi:10.1016/j.kint.2016.12.023. Epub 2017 Feb 24. PubMed PMID: 28242034; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5483390.

  • Haley WE, Enders FT, Vaughan LE, Mehta RA, Thoman ME, Vrtiska TJ, Krambeck AE, Lieske JC, and Rule AD. "Kidney Function After the First Kidney Stone Event." Mayo Clin Proc. 2016 Dec;91(12):1744-1752. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.08.014. Epub 2016 Oct 21. PubMed PMID: 27776839; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5140038.

  • Ferrero A, Montoya JC, Vaughan LE, Huang AE, McKeag IO, Enders FT, Williams JC Jr, and McCollough CH. "Quantitative Prediction of Stone Fragility From Routine Dual Energy CT: Ex vivo proof of Feasibility." Acad Radiol. 2016 Dec;23(12):1545-1552. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2016.07.016. Epub 2016 Oct 4. PubMed PMID: 27717761; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5111401.

  • Leng S, Huang A, Cardona JM, Duan X, Williams JC, and McCollough CH. "Dual-Energy CT for Quantification of Urinary Stone Composition in Mixed Stones: A Phantom Study. AJR Am J Roentgenol." 2016 Aug;207(2):321-9. doi: 10.2214/AJR.15.15692. Epub 2016 May 25. PubMed PMID: 27224260; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5010238.

  • Tang X, Brown MR, Cogal AG, Gauvin D, Harris PC, Lieske JC, Romero MF, and Chang MH. "Functional and Transport Analyses of CLCN5 Genetic Changes Identified in Dent Disease Patients." Physiol Rep. 2016 Apr;4(8). pii: e12776. doi:10.14814/phy2.12776. PubMed PMID: 27117801; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4848727.

  • Turco AE, Lam W, Rule AD, Denic A, Lieske JC, Miller VM, Larson JJ, Kremers WK, and Jayachandran M. "Specific Renal Parenchymal-derived Urinary Extracellular Vesicles Identify Age-associated Structural Changes in Living Donor Kidneys." J Extracell Vesicles. 2016 Feb 1;5:29642. doi: 10.3402/jev.v5.29642. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 26837814; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4737715.

  • Warner G, Hein KZ, Nin V, Edwards M, Chini CC, Hopp K, Harris PC, Torres VE, and Chini EN. "Food Restriction Ameliorates the Development of Polycystic Kidney Disease." J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 May;27(5):1437-47. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2015020132. Epub 2015 Nov 4. PubMed PMID: 26538633; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4849816.

  • Landry GM, Hirata T, Anderson JB, Cabrero P, Gallo CJ, Dow JA, and Romero MF. "Sulfate and Thiosulfate Inhibit Oxalate Transport via a dPrestin (Slc26a6)-dependent Mechanism in an Insect Model of Calcium Oxalate Nephrolithiasis." Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2016 Jan 15;310(2):F152-9. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00406.2015. Epub 2015 Nov 4. PubMed PMID: 26538444; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4719044.

  • Urban MW, Lopera M, Aristizabal S, Amador C, Nenadic I, Kinnick RR, Weston AD, Qiang B, Zhang X, and Greenleaf JF. "Characterization of Transverse Isotropy in Compressed Tissue-mimicking Phantoms." IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2015 Jun;62(6):1036-46. doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2014.006847. PubMed PMID: 26067038; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4431654.

Research grants given to former nuSURF participants

Grant of former nuSURF participantsPI (nuSURF)TitleSchoolBeginEnd
F30-DE027601 Annette Merkel (U IL, Dental Medicine) Endoplasmic chaperone GRP78 interacts with DMP1 to function in biomineralization U Illinois- Chicago 1-Jul-18 31-Oct-22
F99-DK123834 Matthew Brown (Mayo Clinic, Ph.D. Program) NBCe1--mediated regulation of HCO3- is a novel mechanism underlying metabolic reprograming and cystogenesis Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 30-Sep-19 29-Sep-21
F31ES030968 Anne Turco (UW - Madison, Ph.D. Program) Developmental origins of prostate-related urinary dysfunction in adult males: TCDD exposure increases prostatic noradrenergic innervation and smooth muscle contraction UW Madison, Madison, WI 1-Jul-20 30-Jun-22
F31-CA254138 Andrea Michelle Pesch, BS (U MI, Ph.D. Program) Elucidating the mechanism of CDK4/6 inhibitor-mediated radio-sensitization of ER+ breast cancers University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI 1-Aug-20 31-Jul-23
F30 DK126330 Brady Clayton (U Buffalo, NY; MSTP program) Investigating the role of NBCe1-B in renal and cardiac acid-base handling  State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 7-Aug-20 6-Aug-25
NSF-Graduate Research Fellowship  Kalina Reese (UW Madison; Ph.D. in Ying Ge, Ph.D. lab)  Proteomics of CV diseases   UW Madison, Madison, WI  7-Aug-20  6-Aug-25