December 2015

Washington Post Opinion Piece on Stem-Cell Grown Kidneys

Here is an opinion piece I wrote for the Washington Post from a series entitled, “Compensation for organ donors,” edited by Robert Gebelhoff. From the introduction: “Last month, a group of researchers published in the American Journal of Transplantation a cost-benefit analysis for a government-funded program that would offer $45,000 to living kidney donors. They calculated that such an approach would not only fulfill the entire waiting list, but save a whopping $46 billion a year — an amount that… Read More »Washington Post Opinion Piece on Stem-Cell Grown Kidneys

Gli1 Identifies Myofibroblast Progenitors

In this paper published in Cell Stem Cell, we identified Gli1 as a marker for resident mesenchymal stem cells across organs (Kidney, Heart, Lung, Liver, Bone Marrow). Using lineage analysis, we show that chronic injury drives these cells to proliferate and differentiate into scar-secreting myofibroblasts. Rafael Kramann, the first author, then genetically ablated these Gli1+ progenitors before injury, and showed that this prevented kidney fibrosis, and rescued heart function in a model of cardiomyopathy. These results validate resident MSC-like cells as… Read More »Gli1 Identifies Myofibroblast Progenitors