The Model Systems Core within the Mayo Clinic Robert M. and Billie Kelley Pirnie Translational Polycystic Kidney Disease Center develops and makes available model systems and technologies for polycystic kidney disease (PKD) research. These technologies are used to evaluate potential therapies and determine the function of PKD proteins.

Model systems in the core include C. elegans, zebrafish and rodents. The Model Systems Core builds on existing Mayo Clinic expertise in these organisms, especially as in vivo models.

Core services

The Model System Core's PKD model systems and technology services are available to both Mayo Clinic researchers and external researchers.

  • C. elegans PKD-targeted services. C. elegans is a powerful model for characterizing the physiological roles of PKD genes in their native cellular environment. Five specific C. elegans-related services are offered. Learn more about the core's C. elegans services.
  • Zebrafish PKD-targeted services. The zebrafish is well established as a model system for studying PKD, and Mayo Clinic has an expanding group of faculty exploring the use of zebrafish for kidney development and disease research. Five zebrafish-focused services are offered. Learn more about the core's zebrafish services.
  • Rodent PKD-targeted services. Rodent models of PKD are ideal for testing promising therapies and for studying renal and extrarenal disease pathology. Four specific rodent-related services are offered. Learn more about the core's rodent services.

Core director

The director of the Model Systems Core is Jinghua Hu, Ph.D. Dr. Hu is an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and an associate professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Hu's research focuses on using various model organisms ranging from C. elegans to cultured mammalian cells and rodent models to study primary cilia, which are sensory organelles on the surface of most human cells, and to investigate the pathogenesis of human cilia-related diseases (ciliopathies), including autosomal dominant PKD.