Faculty Profile

Benjamin Ko
Section of Nephrology
Associate Professor of Medicine
Referring Physician Access Line: 1-877-DOM-2730

Academic Interests

Dr. Ko is a dedicated physiologist and teacher who studies sodium and calcium transport in the kidney, especially as they pertain to kidney stone disease. His integrated approach to scholarship and investigation spans basic science and translational research, with a focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of renal tubular transport of cations in humans. Using urinary exosomal analyses, small but discrete packages of transporter proteins extruded from the epithelial cell into the urinary space, and a variety of molecular and biochemical techniques he is able to characterize the complex regulation of sodium and calcium homeostasis. His current projects include an examination the molecular mechanisms underlying calcium kidney stone formation and determining the hormonal regulators of the sodium chloride co-transporter. Dr. Ko has been heavily involved for a number of years in medical education including pre-med, medical, resident and fellow trainees. He is a fellow of the Academy of Distinguished Medical Educators and the co-director of the Tissues, Cell and Organ Physiology Course at the Pritzker School of Medicine. Nationally, he serves as the director for the American Society of Nephrology’s Tutored Research and Education of Kidney Scholars (TREKS) program at the University of Chicago.

Clinical Interests

Fluid and electrolyte disorders; general nephrology


  • Liu Y, Rafferty TM, Rhee SW, Webber JS, Song L, Ko B, Hoover RS, He B1, Mu S. CD8+ T cells stimulate Na-Cl co-transporter NCC in distal convoluted tubules leading to salt-sensitive hypertension. Nat Commun. 2017 Jan 9;8:14037.
  • Ko B. Parathyroid hormone and the regulation of renal tubular calcium transport. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2017 Sep;26(5):405-410.
  • Ko B, Joshi LM, Cooke LL, Vazquez N, Musch MW, Hebert SC, Gamba G, Hoover RS. Phorbol ester stimulation of RasGRP1 regulates the sodium-chloride cotransporter by a PKC-independent pathway. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2007 Dec 11;104(50):20120-5.
  • Ko B, Bergsland K, Gillen DL, Evan AP, Clark DL, Baylock J, Coe FL, Worcester EM. Sex differences in proximal and distal nephron function contribute to the mechanism of idiopathic hypercalcuria in calcium stone formers. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2015 Jul 1;309(1):R85-92
  • Hoover RS, Tomilin V, Hanson L, Pochynyuk O, Ko B. PTH modulation of NCC activity regulates TRPV5 Ca2+ reabsorption. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2016 Jan 15;310(2):F144-51.
For a complete list of publications click here:


  • BS, 1997, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Chemical Engineering
  • MD, 2001, University of Illinois at Chicago, Medicine
  • Residency, 2004, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Internal Medicine
  • Fellowship, 2007, The University of Chicago Medical Center, Nephrology