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Dr Yueh-An Lu

Kidney specialist, Dr Yueh-An Lu started her PhD, supervised by Prof. Donald Fraser, in Cardiff in 2019. Her research focuses on the renal proximal tubular cells, which are central to normal kidney function, and to kidney regeneration  following injury.

Proximal tubular cells line the inside of the proximal tubules in the kidney. These tubules are important because they are the reclamation sites of the kidney. They reabsorb important salts, water and sugars that the body needs, from the urine as it passes down towards the bladder.

She uses a developing sequencing technique called “single-cell RNA sequencing”, which allows researchers to obtain the gene expression profiles from each individual cell. Using this technique, she found four new classes of proximal tubular cells that showed increased abundance in the kidney disease.These new cells had gene expression signatures suggesting roles in renal injury responses and disease progression.

Dr Lu said: “I really appreciate that I got this chance to set-up kidney single-cell RNA sequencing in WKRU and use this technique in my own studies. The four new classes of proximal tubular cells that we found in single-cell RNA sequencing have been validated using by microscopy. Our next step is to investigate the proximal tubular cells in growing kidney to understand the proximal tubular cellular regeneration process in more detail"