Little Group - Kidney Development 

Our group aims to direct stem cells to kidney organoids.


Our laboratory generates models of the human kidney using pluripotent stem cells. Our seminal study in 2015 (Takasato et al, Nature) described an approach for generating kidney organoids containing appropriately patterned and segmented nephrons, surrounding renal stroma, endothelial and perivascular cell populations.

We have fully characterised the cellular components within kidney organoids and shown that our protocol is robust, reproducible, and transferable across different pluripotent stem cell lines. Using these human kidney tissues, we hope to develop new therapies for kidney disease.

Our research includes the modelling of genetic forms of kidney disease for drug development and the engineering of kidney tissue to ultimately deliver renal replacement.



  • Factorial analysis of lineage commitment during kidney organoid differentiation

  • Investigating the impact of stroma on kidney organoid specification and patterning

  • Investigating the impact of tension on ureteric epithelial commitment

  • Proteomic characterization of podocin mistrafficking in a model of congenital nephrotic syndrome


List of publications by Melissa Little



Our team collaborates closely with the Kidney Regeneration laboratory at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia.



Our research is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine (NNF21CC0073729)



Staff List - Little Group

Name Title Job responsibilities Phone E-mail
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Apostolaki, Pinelopi Academic Research Staff +4535335267 E-mail
Dyrsting, Peter Head of Administration and Finance Administration Group ¤ Finance Management ¤ Management support ¤ Management representative OHS organisation +4535325005 E-mail
Imsa, Kristiana Academic Research Staff +4535330553 E-mail
Little, Melissa Helen Professor +4535325580 E-mail
Munaretto, Jacopo PhD Fellow +4535328686 E-mail
Paz Santos, Inês Research Assistant +4535329938 E-mail
Wilson, Sean Benjamin Postdoc   E-mail