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Benjamin S. Freedman, Ph.D.
Kidney disease is a major public health problem affecting one in ten individuals, and is in need of new research models and therapies. Many kidney diseases include an inflammatory or immune component, and immunosuppression is an essential aspect of treatment. Our laboratory is pioneering the use of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCS) for kidney regeneration and disease modeling applications. We recently established techniques to differentiate hPSCs into human kidney organoids containing multiple kidney cell types in nephron-like arrangements. These patient-matched kidney tissues can be generated on-demand and are predicted to be 100% immunocompatible with the original patient. We have furthermore utilized both patient-derived and CRISPR-edited organoids to create ‘disease in a dish’ models for polycystic kidney disease and glomerulonephritis.
Current interests include:
- Bioengineering functional human nephrons from stem cells
- Building cellular models of kidney injury and disease
- Testing the transplantability and immunocompatibility of kidney organoids