Benjamin D. Humphreys, MD, PhD

Joseph Friedman Professor
Internal Medicine

Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program
Computational and Systems Biology Program

  • 314 362-8233

  • 314-362-4665

  • 314-362-8237

  • Wohl Clinic, 9th floor




  • Stem cells, regenerative medicine, scRNA-seq, scATAC-seq, spatial transcriptomics, fibrosis, gene editing, iPS cells

  • Define cell hierarchies in kidney injury and repair and thereby identify the critical cell types in kidney repair and fibrosis

Research Abstract:

The mission of my laboratory is to identify novel therapeutic targets for patients suffering from chronic disease, particularly fibrosis. Our primary tools are single cell/nucleus multi-omics, computation, mouse genetics, adult injury models, and iPS cell differentiation into kidney organoids. We have substantial expertise in single cell RNA-seq and bioinformatics.

Over 100,000 people per year develop kidney failure in the US and most are treated with dialysis therapy. While life-saving, this procedure is costly, inconvenient and accelerates heart disease.

An average dialysis patient has a 1 in 5 chance of dying every year. Paying for dialysis costs 7 percent of the entire Medicare budget, even though these patients make up only 1 percent of the Medicare population.

In The Humphreys Lab we are developing new and innovative treatments to help patients with kidney disease. We are using human stem cells to generate kidney organoids in a dish, with a goal of one day transplanting them into patients with kidney failure. We also study the kidney’s ability to regenerate itself so that we can harness this ability for therapeutic uses. Finally, we have deep expertise in scRNA-seq (10X Genomics, split-pool barcoding), scATAC-seq (10X Genomics, SHARE-Seq) and spatial transcriptomics (10X Visium, merFISH). We perform all of our own bioinformatic analyses within the lab. 

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
We are a community built on collaboration, creativity, innovation and belonging. All members of the Humphreys Laboratory are valued, and our different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences are a source of strength in solving problems and help to promote an environment most conducive to learning. We hold inclusion, diversity and equity as core values. We as a lab oppose all forms of discrimination and are committed to working to become
intentionally anti-racist in all that we do.

Selected Publications:

Y. Muto, P.C. Wilson, N. Ledru, H. Wu, H. Dimke, S.S. Waikar and B.D. Humphreys. Single cell transcriptional and chromatin accessibility profiling redefine cellular heterogeneity in the adult human kidney. Nature Commun, 2021.

K. Uchimura, H. Wu, Y. Yoshimura and B.D. Humphreys. Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Kidney Organoids with Improved Collecting Duct Maturation and Injury Modeling. Cell Reports, 2020.

Y. Kirita, H. Wu, K. Uchimura, P.C. Wilson and B.D. Humphreys. Cell profiling of mouse acute kidney injury reveals conserved cellular responses to injury. Proc Nat Acad Sci, 117(27):15874-15883, 2020.

H. Wu, C. Lai, M. Chang-Panesso and B.D. Humphreys. Proximal tubule ribosome profiling during kidney fibrosis reveals pro-inflammatory and lncRNA expression patterns with sexual dimorphism. J Am Soc Neph, (1):23-38, 2019. *Cover Art.

P.C. Wilson, H. Wu, Y. Kirita, K. Uchimura, N. Ledru, H.G. Rennke, P.A. Welling, S.S. Waikar and B.D. Humphreys. The single cell landscape of early human diabetic nephropathy. Proc Nat Acad Sci, 116(39):19619-19625, 2019.

M. Chang-Panesso, F.F. Kadyrov, M. Lalli, H. Wu, S. Ikeda, E. Kefaloyianni, M.M. Abdelmageed, A. Herrlich, A. Kobayashi and B.D. Humphreys. FoxM1 drives proximal tubule proliferation during repair from acute kidney injury. J Clin Invest, 129(12):5501-5517, 2019.

H. Wu, K. Uchimura, E. Donelly, Y. Kirita, S.A. Morris and B.D. Humphreys. Comparative Analysis of Kidney Organoid and Adult Human Kidney Single Cell and Single Nucleus Transcriptomes. Cell Stem Cell, 23(6):869-881, 2018. *Best of Cell Stem Cell.

H. Wu, A.F. Malone, E. Donnelly, Y. Kirita, K. Uchimura, S.M. Ramakrishnan, J. Gaut and B.D. Humphreys. Single cell transcriptomics of a human kidney allograft biopsy defines a diverse inflammatory response. J Am Soc Nephrol, 2018.

B.D. Humphreys. Mechanisms of Renal Fibrosis. Annu Rev Physiol, 80:309-326, 2018.

R. Kramann, R.K. Schneider, D.P. DiRocco, F. Machado, S.V. Fleig, P.A. Bondzie, J.M. Henderson, B.L. Ebert and B.D. Humphreys. Perivascular Gli1+ progenitors are key contributors to injury-induced organ fibrosis. Cell Stem Cell, 16(1):51-66, 2015.

R. Kramann, S.V. Fleig, R.K. Schneider, S.L. Fabian, D.P. DiRocco, O.H. Maarouf, J. Wongboonsin, Y. Ikeda, D. Heckl, S.L. Chang, H.G. Rennke, S.S. Waikar and B.D. Humphreys. Gli2 regulates myofibroblast cell-cycle progression in kidney fibrosis and is a novel therapeutic target. J Clin Invest, 125(8):2935-51, 2015.

Last Updated: 3/24/2021 10:18:26 AM

Humphreys Lab 2020
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