Dept. of Cell Growth and Differentiation
Kenji Osafune (Professor)
Kenji Osafune M.D., Ph.D.
Our laboratory is focusing on the in vitro regeneration of kidney, pancreas and liver from human iPS cells for transplantation and the development of new drugs to treat intractable disorders, such as chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes mellitus and liver cirrhosis. We are investigating the establishment of an efficient method for the differentiation of iPS cells into renal, pancreatic and hepatic lineages. In addition to treatment with growth factors, we will screen low-molecular-weight compounds to discover agents with the ability to induce the differentiation of iPS cells into these three lineages. Through these works, we aim to advance research in the following areas: (1) the elucidation of the development, proliferation and differentiation mechanisms of the human kidney, pancreas and liver; (2) the development of cell transplantation therapies for CKD, type 1 diabetes and liver cirrhosis; (3) the reconstruction of organs for transplantation (kidney, pancreas and liver); (4) the creation of disease models for polycystic kidney disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other intractable kidney, pancreas and liver disorders; and (5) the development of novel therapeutic drugs using these disease models.