Groundbreaking recent developments, such as the near completion of human and mouse genome sequencing efforts and the emergence of robust microarray (gene chip) technologies, enabling comprehensive analysis of transcriptomes, provide new opportunities of unprecedented scale for researchers of kidney biology and disease. Combined with advanced computational and mathematical approaches for microarray data analysis, microarray applications promise to revolutionize our understanding of molecular mechanisms of kidney development and renal pathogenesis. New knowledge in this field will facilitate new approaches for molecular diagnostics, drug discovery, and eventually ‘personalized’ renal medicine. In this review, we outline current and future research applications of microarray and computational approaches in renal biology and disease. We describe basic steps in microarray data analysis and introduce advanced computational approaches to optimize data mining of vast microarray datasets.