(Re)Building a Kidney – A Grand Challenge Renewal

May 2019 Council

Lead Division/Office


Point(s) of Contact

Deborah K. Hoshizaki, Ph.D.

Executive Summary

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) pose a substantial public health burden. Even with the best available medical therapy, deteriorating kidney function can require renal replacement therapy (dialysis, kidney transplantation), both of which have substantial morbidity and mortality. Progressive kidney disease involves failure to effectively repair injury, ineffective regeneration of critical tissues, and unchecked continuation of pathophysiologic processes. This places great importance on the development of potential alternative therapies. (Re)Building a Kidney is a consortium of research projects working to optimize approaches for the isolation, expansion, and differentiation of appropriate kidney cell types and their integration into complex structures that replicate human kidney function.

This consortium includes a wide range of projects including but not limited to studies that: identify, characterize, and evaluate progenitor cell types (embryonic and in the adult), including manipulation of iPS cells to a renal cell fate; determine the role of microenvironments to establish the cellular compartments of the kidney (including innervation, and the vasculature and lymphatic systems); study progenitor cells and microenvironment involved in productive repair in response to injury; develop and study scaffolds for use both in vivo and in vitro; evaluate methods to target cells and molecules to specific kidney locations/compartments; and establish the necessary pre-patterning of the kidney and the interaction of cellular components to boost kidney self-organization.