Our group focuses on embryonic renal development. We are interested in which molecular and structural events lead to the formation of a functioning kidney. How these events are disrupted in hereditary renal diseases is a major focus of our work.
Our main focus is on renal development in X. laevis. We are investigating proteins involved in early renal development and cystic kidney disease. Xenopus embryos can be easily manipulated and have a functional early kidney (pronephros) after 2 days of development. Therefore they serve as an excellent model organism to study genes and proteins involved in tubular patterning and differentiation.
CILIA AND CYSTS
The multiple studies in recent days linking ciliary function and cystic kidney disease have let us to a new area of focus. X. laevis tadpoles have cilia on their epidermis that are very accessible for visualization. The image shows two epidermal cells, that have been stained against tubulin and scanned by confocal microscopy. These ciliated cells are highly polarized and thus serve as an excellent model to study the effect of "cystproteins" on polarity in ciliated cells. We are closely collaborating with the "Live Imaging Centre" to obtain high resolution confocal images