We are Hiring: Staff Scientist – Single Cell RNA-Seq and Informatics

The field of single cell transcriptomincs by RNA-Seq at high-throughput scale is revolutionizing biological investigation. Microfluidic droplet technologies allow co-encapsulation of a cell, barcoded DNA oligonucleotides and cell lysis buffer within a tiny droplet of about 2 nanoliters. These transformative approaches allow for parallel processing of thousands of cells with great efficiency and precision and they are already having far-reaching impacts across biology and medicine. We are applying several droplet microfluidics-based approaches including Drop-Seq, InDrops and DroNc-Seq for single cell… Read More »We are Hiring: Staff Scientist – Single Cell RNA-Seq and Informatics

Culprit responsible for calcified blood vessels in kidney disease identified

Scientists have implicated a type of stem cell they believe is responsible for calcified blood vessels common in patients with chronic kidney disease. The research will guide future studies into ways to block minerals from building up inside blood vessels and exacerbating atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries.   The study, led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, appears Sept. 8 in the journal Cell Stem Cell.   “In the past, this calcification process was… Read More »Culprit responsible for calcified blood vessels in kidney disease identified

Postdoctoral Fellowship in hPSC Differentiation

A funded postdoctoral position is available in the Division of Nephrology at Washington University in St. Louis. The Humphreys laboratory ( investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms of adult kidney injury and repair. We are exploring the role of developmental signaling pathways (Hh, Wnt) in paracrine signaling during kidney injury and fibrosis with potential future clinical applications (e.g., acute kidney injury and chronic renal fibrosis). Over the last two years kidney has become the organ system of choice for modeling… Read More »Postdoctoral Fellowship in hPSC Differentiation

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