Melbourne Paediatric Specialists

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Latest Research: Growing mini-kidney organoids using stem cells
Mini-KIdney Organoids - Grown in a dish using stem cells of a patient with genetic kidney disease

Growing mini-kidneys in a dish – latest research to help young patients with genetic kidney disease.

Paediatric Nephrologist Dr Tom Forbes has recently published his research growing mini-kidneys in a dish from the stem cells of a patient with genetic kidney disease.

“In this study we reprogrammed skin cells from the patient into stem cells and then grew the stem cells into mini-kidney organoids in a dish. We were able to detect evidence of the genetic disease in these mini-kidneys and we were able to resolve these abnormalities by using gene-editing techniques on the stem cells.” says Dr Forbes.

“I am hopeful that over the next 5-10 years we will be able to use these patient mini-kidneys to learn about how inherited kidney diseases work and potentially discover new treatments that might defer the need for dialysis and transplantation for these patients.”

The article was published on the 30th of April in the American Journal of Human Genetics, and represents a collaboration between multiple clinics and laboratories in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

Dr Forbes is completing his PhD with the Kidney Development, Disease and Regeneration Laboratory, led by Prof Melissa Little at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

*Dr Tom Forbes is one of our Paediatric Nephrologists consulting at Melbourne Paediatric Specialists.

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