Professor Melissa Little and the IMB Kidney Research Laboratory investigates the molecular basis of kidney development, disease, repair and regeneration in the hope of finding a treatment for chronic kidney disease. Once this disease has progressed to end-stage renal disease, where the kidneys have basically failed, treatment is only possible through dialysis or transplantation. Each of these treatments has drawbacks: dialysis serverely limits the quality of life, while only one in four patients will be lucky enough to receive a kidney donation. Professor Little hopes that by understanding the molecular basis of both normal kidney development and renal disease, she and her group will be able to develop therapies that will prompt the kidney to heal itself. Read more


Our latest 2014 publications:HomePagePublicationsNov14.jpg

Renal developmental defects resulting from in utero hypoxia are associated with suppression of ureteric β-catenin signalling.

Wilkinson et al, Kidney International (2015) In press.


Mid- to late term hypoxia in the mouse alters placental morphology, glucocorticoid regulatory pathways and nutrient transporters in a sex-specific manner.

Cuffe et al, J Physiol (2014) 592 (14): 3127-41.


Collecting Duct-Derived Cells Display Mesenchymal Stem Cell Properties and Retain Selective In Vitro and In Vivo Epithelial Capacity.

Li et al, JASN (2014). Cover image JASN 2014.


Global quantification of tissue dynamics in the developing mouse kidney.

Short et al, Developmental Cell (2014) 29: 1–15.


Directing human embryonic stem cell differentiation towards a renal lineage generates a self-organising kidney.

Takasato et al, Nat Cell Biol (2014) 16(1):118-26. Cover image Nature Cell Biology January 2014 Vol 16 No 1.

and 2014 Reviews:

The Kidney Research National Dialogue: Gearing Up to Move Forward. Bonventre JV et al, Clin J Am Soc Nephrol (2014)

Nephron progenitor cells: shifting the balance of self-renewal and differentiation. Kopan R et al, Curr Top Dev Biol (2014)

Reprogramming Somatic Cells to a Kidney Fate. Takasato et al, Seminars in Nephrology (2014) 34(4):462-480.

Defining kidney biology to understand renal disease. Little et al, Clin J Am Soc Nephrol (2014) 9(4):809-11. 

Recreating kidney progenitors from pluripotent cells. Takasato et al, Pediatr Nephrol (2014) 29(4):543-52.