Kidney Regeneration

Research area:  Stem cell biology

Our vision is to develop new treatments for inherited and chronic kidney disease. Using human stem cells to recreate kidney tissue, we hope to model kidney disease, find new therapies, and eventually develop replacement organs.

The kidney is a complex and essential organ required for maintaining fluid balance, blood volume, and electrolyte stability in the body. The kidneys are essential organs that maintain fluid balance, blood volume, and electrolyte balance. In humans, all these functions are achieved by the approximately 1,000,000 individual nephrons present in each adult kidney. Remarkably, all of these nephrons are formed before birth, hence any disease no new nephrons can form.

In our research group, we have used our understanding of how the nephrons form during normal kidney development to recreate a model of the human kidney using pluripotent stem cells. These stem cell-derived mini-kidneys can be made using cells from patients with kidney disease. They can also be generated using gene-edited stem cells engineered to recreate a disease state or a readout of function. Using stem cell-derived models of inherited kidney disease, we aim to screen for novel treatments. We also aim to engineer human kidney tissue to provide a source of renal replacement other than dialysis and organ transplantation.

kidney research gallery

 

Contact us

Professor Melissa Little