Exciting Collaborations to Fight Kidney Diseases

Nanoparticles move past the glomerular filtration barrier of the kidney to target diseased cells. Credit: Illustrator: Yekaterina (Katya) Kadyshevskaya from the USC Bridge Institute at the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience

The USC/UKRO Kidney Research Center is currently involved in these innovative cross-disciplinary studies to find new treatments and improve lives.

1. Novel nanoparticle delivery systems targeting drugs to the kidney to fight kidney diseases (especially polycystic kidney disease) – Collaboration between Dr. Kenneth Hallows/KRC and Dr. Eun Ji Chung, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering and USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience

Learn more about this study.

2. Stem cell and regenerative medicine technologies to create organoids and artificial kidneys as models for kidney disease and testing new therapies – Collaboration between Dr. Zhongwei Li/KRC and Dr. Andrew McMahon, Dept. of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

3. Improving outcomes and function of the remaining kidney for living kidney donors—preclinical and clinical studies – Collaboration between Drs. Nuria Pastor-Soler and Hallows/KRC, Dr. Alicia McDonough, Dept. of Integrative Anatomical Sciences, and Dr. McMahon, Dept. of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine)

4. Repurposing drugs for novel uses to fight kidney diseases (e.g., polycystic kidney
disease) – Collaboration between Dr. Hallows/KRC and investigators at Tufts University, University of
Maryland, and Georgetown University

5. Understanding the role of the tumor micro-environment in fighting kidney cancer –
Collaboration between Dr. Pastor-Soler/KRC, Dept. of Chemistry and USC Norris Cancer

6. Investigating the economic and social determinants of kidney disease, dialysis, and
hospitalizations – Collaboration between Dr. Eugene Lin/KRC and USC Price School of
Public Policy and the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics

Research Focus at the KRC

The scientists at the USC/UKRO Kidney Research Center are undertaking dynamic research and big data approaches to achieve breakthroughs. A short list of research focus areas includes:

USC/UKRO Kidney Research Center miroscope
UKRO board member Henry David takes a look inside the research center’s multiphoton confocal microscope, which is used to examine the living kidney. Photo: USC
  • Kidney Regeneration and Stem Cell Therapies (with the Broad Stem Cell Institute)
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
  • Hypertension
  • Acid Regulation
  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Therapies to Protect Living Kidney Donors
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Health Policy and Economics Pertaining to Kidney Disease


Learn more about the KRC and its objectives.