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Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) Chief Scientist Professor Melissa Little has been elected as a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

Professor Little is one of 120 new members to join the organisation, which includes over 2,000 leading researchers, that promotes excellence in science across the world.

EMBO membership honours distinguished scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the life sciences.

Professor Little said, “I'm proud of being recognised as a champion for biomedical research across my career, whether that's for the sector as a whole, for junior researchers or for women in science. I've had a lot of opportunities to capitalise on having a voice in the scientific community.”

Melissa Little reNEW CEO

Image: Professor Melissa Little

Professor Little is Group Leader of the MCRI Kidney Regeneration Group, CEO of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine (reNEW) and Deputy Director of reNEW Copenhagen.

She is internationally recognised for her kidney regeneration research and being the first scientist in the world to grow a kidney in a dish (in vitro).

Professor Little has pioneered methods into creating human kidney tissue in the lab engineered from human stem cells, which is helping to advance disease modelling and drug screening and to better understand how kidneys develop.

This research could lead to improved treatments for children with congenital kidney disease and enable scientists to grow transplantable kidneys in a dish made from a patient’s own stem cells, that could provide a safer option for patients requiring a kidney transplant.

Watch Professor Little talk about engineering stem cells in the lab that model cells of inherited kidney disease to test drugs and discover new treatments.

EMBO will formally welcome new members at the annual Members’ Meeting in Heidelberg, Germany.

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