The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases-supported Kidney Research National Dialogue (KRND) asked the scientific community to formulate and prioritize research objectives that would improve our understanding of kidney function and disease. Several high-priority objectives for diabetic nephropathy were identified in data and sample collection, hypothesis generation, hypothesis testing, and translation promotion. The lack of readily available human samples linked to comprehensive phenotypic, clinical, and demographic data remains a significant obstacle. With data and biological samples in place, several possibilities exist for using new technologies to develop hypotheses. Testing novel disease mechanisms with state-of-the-art tools should continue to be the foundation of the investigative community. Research must be translated to improve diagnosis and treatment of people. The objectives identified by the KRND provide the research community with future opportunities for improving the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diabetic nephropathy.