Oliver  Wessely,  PhD

Oliver Wessely, PhD

Associate Staff

Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195


The kidney is an essential organ for water and solute homeostasis as well as excretion of waste products. Our research interests lie in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing the formation and maintenance of a functional kidney and how these processes are perturbed during diseases such as Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC).

We are particularly intrigued by the complex cross talk between the more than 20 different cell types required to ascertain kidney structure and function. To decoding this network, we are focusing on identifying the key events and signaling nodes of the network. We use in vivo (mouse and the African clawed frog, Xenopus) and in vitro systems (human stem cell-derived kidney cells) and combine them with cutting-edge approaches (e.g. single cell studies, high-dimensional screening) to identify process critical parameters.

Lay Summary

Our multifaceted approach offers unique opportunities to explore many of the unresolved question underlying kidney development and human kidney diseases, to develop novel therapeutic approaches and to shorten the time to translate potential cures from bench to bedside.

  • Oxburgh L, Carroll TJ, Cleaver O, Gossett DR, Hoshizaki DK, Hubbell JA, Humphreys BD, Jain S, Jensen J, Kaplan DL, Kesselman C, Ketchum CJ, Little MH, McMahon AP, Shankland SJ, Spence JR, Valerius MT, Wertheim JA, Wessely O, Zheng Y, Drummond IA. (2017) (Re)Building a Kidney. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol., 28(5):1370-1378. 
  • Zhang B, Tran U, Wessely O. (2018) Polycystin-1 loss of function is directly linked to an imbalance in G-protein signaling in the kidney. Development. 2018, 145(6). 
  • Signs SA, Fisher RC, Tran U, Chakrabarti S, Sarvestani SK, Xiang S, Liska D, Roche V, Lai W, Gittleman HR, Wessely O, Huang EH. (2018). Stromal miR-20a controls paracrine CXCL8 secretion in colitis and colon cancer. Oncotarget 9(16):13048-13059.
  • Romaker D., Kumar V., Cerqueira D.M., Cox R.M., Wessely O. (2014) MicroRNAs are critical regulators of tuberous sclerosis complex and mTORC1 activity in the size control of the Xenopus kidney. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 111(17):6335-4

10/25/2021 |  

Researchers to Conduct Comprehensive Analysis of the Human Bladder and Ureter

Drs. Lee, Ting and Wessely will examine human ureter and bladder tissues in males and females at various ages and construct a cellular and molecular anatomical map of the organs.