Benjamin D. Humphreys, M.D., Ph.D.

Internal Medicine

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

  • 314 362-8233

  • 314-362-4665

  • 314-362-8237

  • 8126

  • Wohl Clinic, 9th floor




  • Stem cells, regenerative medicine, single cell RNA-seq, 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 mouse genetics, adult injury models, high-resolution imaging 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.

Selected Publications:

Y. Ikeda, Z. Sun, X. Ru, L.H. Vandenberghe and B.D. Humphreys. Efficient gene transfer to kidney mesenchymal cells using a synthetic adeno-associated viral vector. J Am Soc Nephrol, 2018.

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.

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. bioRxiv 232561; doi:

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

O.H Maarouf, A. Aravamudhan, D. Rangarajan, T. Kusaba, V. Zhang, J. Welborn, D. Gauvin, X. Hou, R. Kramann and B.D. Humphreys. Paracrine Wnt1 drives interstitial fibrosis without inflammation by tubulo-interstitial crosstalk. J Am Soc Nephrol, 2016; 27(3):781-90.

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.

I. Grgic, A.M. Krautzberger, A. Hofmeister, M. Lalli, D.P. DiRocco, S.V. Fleig, J. Liu, J.S. Duffield, A.P. McMahon, B. Aronow and B.D. Humphreys. Translational profiles of medullary myofibroblasts during kidney fibrosis. J Am Soc Nephrol, 25(9):1979-90, 2014.

T. Kusaba, M. Lalli, R. Kramann, A. Kobayashi and B.D. Humphreys. Differentiated kidney epithelial cells repair injured proximal tubule. Proc Nat Acad Sci, 111(4):1527-32, 2014. PMCID: 3910580

D. DiRocco, J. Bisi, P. Roberts, J. Strum, K. Wong, N. Sharpless and B.D. Humphreys. CDK4/6 inhibition induces epithelial cell cycle arrest and ameliorates acute kidney injury. Am J Physiol: Renal, 306(4):F379-88, 2014. PMCID: 3920026

Last Updated: 7/25/2018 8:18:08 AM

Humphreys Lab 2018
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