The Humphreys Laboratory


We use cutting-edge techniques to discover cures for kidney disease

mouse models

We culture mouse embryonic stem cells and perform gene targeting by using Crispr/Cas9 and HDR. Our experience with genome modification allows us to generate unique models to interrogate disease models with precision.

Gene Editing

Crispr-Cas9 based gene editing offers genome editing with unparalleled specificity and speed. All trainees learn this technology which we apply in cell lines and stem cells.

Stem Cell Biology

The ability to generate patient-specific pluripotent stem cells gives hope that we can grow replacement kidneys ‘in a dish’ that can someday be used in transplantation. Understanding the potential of kidney organoids is a major focus.


We are leveraging single cell RNA-seq approaches including DropSeq, sNucDropSeq, InDrops and FACS-Seq to generate transcriptional atlases of kidney organoids and adult kidney in health and during the course of disease.

Watch the Lab Grow

The Lab

Our mission: To develop new cures for human kidney disease
Working together to cure kidney disease

Over 100,000 people per year develop kidney failure in the US and most are treated with dialysis therapy. While life-saving, this procedure is costly, inconvenient and accelerates heart disease.

An average dialysis patient has a 1 in 5 chance of dying every year. Paying for dialysis costs 7 percent of the entire Medicare budget, even though these patients make up only 1 percent of the Medicare population.

In The Humphreys Lab we are developing new and innovative treatments to help patients with kidney disease. We are using human stem cells to generate kidney organoids in a dish, with a goal of one day transplanting them into patients with kidney failure. We also study the kidney’s ability to regenerate itself so that we can harness this ability for therapeutic uses.

  • Genetic mouse models

    We have created 5 transgenic and 3 knockin mouse lines with 6 more in production

  • Crispr-Cas9

    We are using gene editing to create novel KO and KI iPS and mouse ES lines

  • Gene Profiling

    We use RNA-Seq to expression profile kidney cell types

  • Human kidney single cell RNA-seq

    We perform DropSeq and InDrops on organoids and kidney biopsies

Our Team

Humphreys Lab Members at Washington University in St. Louis
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Benjamin D. Humphreys MD, PhD

Principal Investigator
Dr. Humphreys is the Joseph Friedman Professor of Medicine and Chief of Nephrology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His laboratory studies acute and chronic kidney disease.
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monica Chang-panesso MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
I received my MD from Texas Tech University in 2009 and completed nephrology fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/ Massachusetts General Hospital in 2015. I joined the Humphreys Lab in July 2013 and focus on aging and acute kidney injury.
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Lucy Fan

Lab Manager
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Jeff Lai MD

Postdoctoral Fellow
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Margaux Heritier

Masters Student
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Yoshiharu Muto, MD

Postdoctoral Fellow
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Yuhei Kirita ,MD

Postdoctoral Fellow
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Sai Mukund Ramakrishnan

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Erinn Donnelly

Research Technician I
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Zhao Sun PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Zhao received his Ph.D. (May, 2016) from University of Iowa for his studies in craniofacial development. After graduation, he joined the Humphreys Lab and is working on kidney fibrosis using stem cell approaches.
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Kohei Uchimura PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
I received my M.D. (2004) and Ph.D. (2012) at Kumamoto University. I joined the Humphreys Lab in August, 2015 and my research focuses on the identification of novel biomarkers of kidney fibrosis.
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Haojia Wu PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
I completed my PhD studies in th Renal Division from The University of Hong Kong in 2014. I joined the Humphreys Lab in September, 2015, and I currently work on the molecular profiling of individual cell types in mouse and human kidney.
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Ashima Chadha

Medical Student

Recent Work


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Lab News

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