Assistant Professor, Cell Biology
Mammalian kidney development
Proper formation of epithelial architecture is integral for development and function of most organs. Research interests in the Yu laboratory focus on epithelial morphogenesis during organogenesis, using the mammalian kidney as the model system. The formation and organization of renal epithelia involves multiple mechanisms commonly employed in the formation of epithelial organs, thus provides an excellent model for the study of epithelial morphogenesis. We have recently identified that Wnt7b signaling plays critical roles in the regulation of renal collecting duct epithelium morphogenesis underlying renal cortico-medullary patterning. We will take advantage of a combination of genetic, in vitro organ and cell culture, cell biology and biochemical approaches to dissect the inter- and intra-cellular machineries mediating Wnt7b signaling in renal epithelial morphogenesis. It is our hope that our study will extend the knowledge of molecular circuits orchestrating epithelial morphogenesis and provide tools for prevention, detection and treatment of renal diseases arising from defective epithelial formation or maintenance.