Kobayashi Lab


The primary interest of our laboratory is to understand the cellular and molecular regulatory mechanisms leading to the establishment of the mammalian kidney using the mouse as a model system.

The kidney is made up of approximately one million functional units, the nephrons. We utilized gene targeting in embryonic stem (ES) cells and CRISPR in zygotes to generate a series of mouse lines that enable genetic manipulation of developing kidneys in tissue-specific manners. Using these animal resources, we have defined the fate map of distinct domains during kidney organogenesis and identified multipotent, self-renewing progenitor populations in the developing kidney.

Our lab is currently investigating genetic regulatory mechanisms for cell type specification and commitment for specific cell type lineages during kidney development. Our recent data discovered that repression of interstitial cell identity in nephron progenitor cells establishes the nephron parenchyma-interstitium lineage boundary in the developing kidney.

With kidney disease, the nephrons are lost and replaced by fibrous tissue. Our group also focuses on understanding the genes that are involved in programming the nephron so that it can be ultimately possible to create new nephron in the adult and patients with kidney disease can avoid the need for dialysis or renal transplantation.

Cell Lineages in the Kidney