Benjamin Freedman, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine/Nephrology, University of Washington School of Medicine
Dr. Benjamin “Beno” Freedman first became fascinated with stem cells as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied tissue regeneration in the ‘healer’ mouse strain. As a doctoral student at the University of California at Berkeley, he investigated how the cytoplasm of frog eggs remodeled nuclei of somatic cells into an embryonic stem cell-like state. After receiving his PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology, he joined Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow, where he innovated the first techniques to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells into kidney organoids. As a fellow and a young faculty member, Beno combined organoids with CRISPR-Cas9 to establish three-dimensional models of kidney disease. His published work appears in top-tier journals such as Nature Materials and Cell Stem Cell, and has also received attention in popular press outlets such as Geekwire and KIRO-7 TV News. Dr. Freedman is the recipient of numerous honors including the 2017 Researcher Honoree for the Polycystic Kidney Foundation and the 2018 Stem Cells Young Investigator Award. He currently leads a research group at the University of Washington in Seattle devoted to kidney regeneration and disease modeling using organoids to guide therapy development.