Summer School on Experimental Models of Kidney Disease

Published July 27, 2022

  • First in-person summer school!

    The first summer school of the project was held online and organised by Anna Kottgen and Cristian Pattaro. This first edition was focusing on Genetic Epidemiology of Kidney Function and Chronic Kidney Disease and was a success (more information here), however, our hosts were deeply saddened to have to hold this event online. We could sense the urge of the participants to exchange more.

    During the great workshop held at AstraZeneca, we witnessed the difference between online and in-person events. We were really keen to welcome the students for a week of sessions in Paris, at the lab of our Scientific coordinator Fabiola Terzi.

  • We welcomed around 30 participants, including our 15 ESRs to Institut Necker Enfants Malades during the first week of July 2022.

    This Summer School provided participants with an overview of the most relevant experimental models and innovative tools for studying the complex pathophysiology of CKD progression. In parallel, the cellular and molecular bases of CKD progression were presented.

  • The summer school gathered 17 high profile scientists, to talk about the following subjects:

    • Modelling CKD progression: Introducing the glomerular, tubular and interstitial models used to mimic CKD in rodents, together with novel models developed in zebrafish and drosophila to study glomerular and tubular functions.
    • New tools to explore kidney function and structure: Providing knowledge and practical training on how to image kidney (intravital microscopy, tissue clearing) and how to modify target genes (CRISPR/Cas9).
    • Elucidating the cellular and molecular events of CKD progression: Providing basic understanding of CKD pathophysiology. Experts in cell proliferation and apoptosis, cellular stress, autophagy cell signalling will provide the teaching, with particular emphasis on techniques.
    • Mouse genetics: Providing basis for understanding and managing the genetic variability of mouse strains to develop novel mouse models. Particular emphasis will be on techniques and bioinformatics programmes developed to identify gene variants.
    • Pharmacological screening: Providing an overview on the development of novel treatments from in silico approaches to high throughput screening of pharmacological libraries, with particular emphasis on renal cellular models.
  • On Thursday, the students were separated into 4 groups. Fabiola Terzi and Marco Pontoglio, our hosts, prepared the following topic:

    Here is a family tree showing a pattern if inheritance for a monogenic trait characterized by the development of CKD. All affected members (Solid Black) carry heterozygous mutation affecting an evolutionory conserved amino acid residue for NRXA25B, a hypothetical gene encoding for a nucleat receptor specifically expressed in renal epithelial cells. 

    They asked the student to propose a research project and experimental plan aimed at investigating the cellular and molecular mechanism of the disease and the function of the gene and possibly propose therapeutic strategies.

    So, we split the students into four groups and they spent the whole afternoon working on this to be able to present their results on the next day. 

    So, on Friday afternoon, we listened to the student projects. Fabiola Terzi and Marco Pontoglio were amazed by the results of the students' work. In one afternoon, they were able to prepare a PowerPoint presentation that tackle the presented issue. 


  • After these presentations, we ended the summer school with a grand lecture of Prof. Guillaume Canaud. The work of Guillaume Canaud reminded us the link between the science and the patients. 

    We ended the day on an informal note, visiting the Musée Arts et Métiers.