Glomerular diseases are major contributors to the global burden of end-stage kidney disease. The clinical course and outcome of these disorders are extremely variable and difficult to predict. The clinical trajectories range from a benign and spontaneously remitting condition to a symptomatic and rapidly progressive disease. The diagnosis is based entirely on the evaluation of kidney biopsy, but this invasive procedure carries multiple risks and often fails to predict the clinical course or responsiveness to treatment. However, more recent advances in genetics and molecular biology have facilitated elucidation of novel pathogenic mechanisms of these disorders. These discoveries fuel the development of novel biomarkers and offer prospects of noninvasive diagnosis and improved prognostication. Our review focuses on the most promising novel biomarkers that have recently emerged for the major types of glomerular diseases, including immunoglobulin A nephropathy, membranous nephropathy, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. (C) 2014 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.