The kidney provides several physiological functions essential to the survival of mammals: in addition to its role as an excretory organ, it controls blood pressure and the production of red blood cells. Consequences of loss of function are therefore multifaceted and severe, frequently requiring replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and/or transplantation. Although the kidney is endowed with a tremendous surplus capacity, and the ability to regenerate following acute injury, kidney disease resulting in functional impairment is very common. Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding the complex series of control mechanisms governing embryonic development of this organ, and on reproducing these events in culture with the goal of generating new kidney tissue from stem cells. Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling is central to both of these processes, and in ongoing studies using primary cell culture, genetic models, and disease models my group is exploring how this signaling pathway acts in the kidney.