Urbach Lab | stem cells and development

Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are a unique type of cells derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst stage embryo (ESCs) or by reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). These cells can undergo in-vitro differentiation into virtually any type of cells that make up the embryo and later on the adult. This feature, along with their unlimited self-renewal capacity, makes hPSCs an invaluable source of cells for regenerative medicine and a powerful tool for

studying questions related to embryonic development and disease modeling. The research in our lab utilizes all of these hPSC applications with a specific focus on the kidney. As a complementary approach to the in-vitro studies, we seek to develop novel mouse models for rare renal pediatric tumors. Another major field of interest in the lab is the stem cell factor Lin28 and its role in mouse and human embryonic development.