New atlas of human kidney cells to help unlock kidney disease research

July 20, 2023
NIH-funded effort provides interactive resource for global research community.

A nationwide research team funded by the National Institutes of Health has created a comprehensive atlas of the human kidney. Data from the Kidney Tissue Atlas will allow the comparison of healthy kidney cells to those injured by kidney disease, helping investigators understand the factors that contribute to the progression of kidney disease and kidney failure or recovery from injury. The atlas, part of the Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP), was supported by NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), as published in Nature.

The Kidney Tissue Atlas comprises maps of 51 main kidney cell types that include rare and novel cell populations, 28 kidney cellular states that represent injury or disease, a repository of raw gene data, and interactive 3D models of cells and microenvironment relationships created from 45 healthy donor kidneys and 48 kidney disease biopsies. The atlas thus establishes a critical foundation for KPMP’s overall goal to help discover new treatments for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and acute kidney injury (AKI), medical conditions that present a significant global health burden. The publicly available data created by KPMP, including all 3D renderings and analytical tools, can be accessed at

NIH release