Melissa Little is a recognized leader in the life sciences whose influence extends throughout Australia and beyond. Little heads the Kidney Development, Disease and Regeneration Group at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and is a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. For more than 20 years her research has focussed on the molecular basis of kidney development, renal disease and repair. She is internationally recognised for her work on the systems biology of kidney development and also her pioneering studies into potential regenerative therapies in the kidney. Her work on the developing kidney has driven studies into the recreation of nephron stem cell populations via transcriptional reprogramming and directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. As a result, her research now focuses on the generation of mini-kidneys from stem cells for use in drug screening and disease modelling and bioengineering. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Professor Littleā€™s work has been recognised by many awards, including the GlaxoSmithKline Award for Research Excellence (2005), AAS Gottschalk Medal in Medical Sciences (2004), Eisenhower Fellowship (2006), ANZSCDB Presidents Medal (2015) and a Boerhaave Professorship, Leiden University (2015). A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Little founded Nephrogenix Pty Ltd and from 2007-2008, she served as the Chief Scientific Officer at the Australian Stem Cell Centre. Melissa is Vice President of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research and a member of the Governance Committee of Stem Cells Australia.


Kidney Development, Disease and Regeneration Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne


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Areas of Interest

Medicine, Public Health, Psychology, Research and Development, Women's Issues
  • melissa little

Program Year



Multi-Nation Program

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Destination Country

United States