Acute kidney injury (AKI) remains a significant clinical problem through its diverse etiologies, the challenges of robust measurements of injury and recovery, and its progression to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Bridging the gap in our knowledge of this disorder requires bringing together not only the technical resources for research but also the investigators currently endeavoring to expand our knowledge and those who might bring novel ideas and expertise to this important challenge. The University of Alabama at Birmingham-University of California-San Diego O'Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research brings together technical expertise and programmatic and educational efforts to advance our knowledge in these diverse issues and the required infrastructure to develop areas of novel exploration. Since its inception in 2008, this O'Brien Center has grown its impact by providing state-of-the-art resources in clinical and preclinical modeling of AKI, a bioanalytical core that facilitates measurement of critical biomarkers, including serum creatinine via LC-MS/MS among others, and a biostatistical resource that assists from design to analysis. Through these core resources and with additional educational efforts, our center has grown its investigator base to include >200 members from 51 institutions. Importantly, this center has translated its pilot and catalyst funding program with a $37 return per dollar invested. Over 500 publications have resulted from the support provided with a relative citation ratio of 2.18 ± 0.12 (iCite). Through its efforts, this disease-centric O'Brien Center is providing the infrastructure and focus to help the development of the next generation of researchers in the basic and clinical science of AKI. This center creates the promise of the application at the bedside of the advances in AKI made by current and future investigators.