Professor Melissa Helen Little inaugurated at University of Copenhagen

Friday, March 24, Professor Melissa Helen Little was inaugurated at the University of Copenhagen. Bente Stallknecht, Dean at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, hosted the ceremony. Closing remarks were made by Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Professor Melissa Little is an international leader in kidney development and a pioneer in kidney regeneration research. Together with her team at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, she succeeded in creating an in vitro kidney model generated from human stem cells. These are called kidney organoids.

Melissa is driving her research towards outcomes using kidney organoids to develop drugs for inherited kidney disease and tissue engineering to tackle renal replacement.

During the inauguration, Professor Little presented this journey in her lecture entitled: Rebuilding the human kidney from stem cells: a journey from basic science to targeted research.

As a fundamental researcher, I am in awe of developmental biology and what it can tell us about both normal development and disease,’ said Professor Little, ‘But my career journey pivoted when I asked myself the question ‘how can I make a difference for society?’

Professor Little joins the University of Copenhagen to lead the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine, called reNEW, a global research consortium driving translation from underpinning stem cell biology. reNEW spans three countries, Denmark, The Netherlands and Australia. Professor Little is also Director of the Copenhagen node within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and has established a kidney lab in Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen Kidney Regeneration Laboratory is continuing to improve our understanding of how the kidney organoids develop and engineering improvements to the protocol.

reNEW Copenhagen celebrated the inauguration of Professor Melissa Little after the ceremony with a reception.

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