The main focus of the research is improving the reliability and the biological similarity of in vitro cultures, called kidney organoids, to their in vivo counterparts, the human kidneys. This improvement is conducted by understanding how cells communicate with each and respond accordingly.
Kidney organoids allow to improve our understanding of kidney development. As a result, in the future we will be able to grow in vitro cells that recapitulate the physiological kidneys in structure and function. Ultimately, generating kidney-like tissue in the lab will open the doors to new strategies for regenerative therapies for all the patients in need of a kidney transplant.
Being just about to begin my PhD, my research is at a very early stage. This grants me a high degree of flexibility, and in the coming months part of my work will focus on evaluating which techniques and experimental approaches are the best ones to answer my research questions about cell signalling and signal interpretation during in vitro differentiation.
Although this is a quite poor specimen of kidney organoid (i.e. many structures are missing) it is quite funny that part of it resembles the fully grown organ it is supposed to mimic and recapitulate.
Jacopo Munaretto, under the supervision of Dr. Sean Wilson and Dr. Jeanette Løkkegaard. Little group, reNEW Copenhagen.