Parent Page: Academic Departments id: 24023 Active Page: Zimmerman Labid:25584

Zimmerman Research Lab


Kurt Zimmerman
B.S. University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire
Ph.D. University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology
Biomedical Science Building
940 Stanton L Young Blvd, Room 513
Oklahoma City, Ok 73104
Phone: 405-271-8001 Ext 51033

The Zimmerman lab in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology at OUHSC studies how immune cells influence the development and progression of cystic kidney diseases. Our lab was the first to identify the importance of kidney resident macrophages (KRM) in injury induced cystic kidney disease. We went on to show that a similar population of KRM is present in other species using single cell RNA sequencing. As part of these studies, we identified novel markers of KRM that were capable of identifying KRM in mouse, rat, pig, and human kidney tissues.  The current projects in our lab build on these previous studies using state of the art technology including CRISP-Cas9 generated mouse models, flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and single cell RNA sequencing.

The first project is focused on understanding how T cells influence injury induced cystic kidney disease. This includes the identification of T cell subsets, their localization, and potential function during the initiation and progression of cystic disease. The overall goal of this project is to identify pathogenic and protective T cell populations so that we can target these populations for treatment in patients with cystic disease.

The second major project is focused on understanding the ontological origin of KRM. This includes identification of KRM precursor cells and factors that control the seeding, differentiation, and development of KRM precursors in homeostasis and cystic kidney disease. The overall goal of this project is to leverage our understanding of KRM origin and functions to treat cystic kidney disease patients.


Selected Publications

1. Zimmerman, KA.*, Bentley, MR., Lever, JM., Li, Z., Crossman, DK., Song, CJ., Liu, S., Crowley, MR., George, JF., Mrug, M., and Yoder, BK*. 2019. Single-cell RNAseq identifies a core renal resident macrophage signature across species. JASN 30:767-781. PMID: 30948627 **Selected as an F1000 prime manuscript**

Special commentary on manuscript

a. Clatworth, M.R. 2019. How to Find a Resident Kidney Macrophage: the Single-Cell Sequencing Solution. JASN 30:715-716. PMCID: PMC6493991

2. Zimmerman, KA.#, Song, CJ.#,  Lever, JM., Crossman, DK., Li, Z., Zhou, J., Crowley, MR., Revell, DZ., Giles, KE., Gonzalez, N., Yan, Z., Shan, D., Benveniste, EN., George, JF., Mrug, M., and Yoder, BK. 2019. Tissue resident macrophages promote renal cystic disease. JASN. 10:1841-1856. PMID: 31337691

3. Larson-Casey, J.L., Vaid, M., Gu, L., He, C., Cai, G., Ding, Q., Davis, D., Berryhill, T.F., Wilson, L.S., Barnes, S., Neighbors, J.D., Hohl, R.J., Zimmerman, K.A., Yoder, B.K., Longhini, A.L., Hanumanthu, V.S., Surolia, R., Antony, V.B., Carter, A.B. 2019. Increased flux through the mevalonate pathway mediates fibrotic repair without injury. J Clin Invest. 129(11):4962-4978. PMID: 31609245

4. Zimmerman, KA., Huang, J., He, L., Li, Z., Fitzgibbon, W.R., Hazard, E.S., Hardiman, G., Mrug, M., Bell, P.D., Yoder, B.K., and Saigusa, T. IRF5 produced by kidney macrophages promotes polycystic kidney disease. Kidney 360

A full list of Dr. Zimmerman's research publications can be found at:

Research funding:


Presbyterian Health Foundation Seed Grant

PI: Kurt Zimmerman07/01/20-06/30/210.6 CM

The goal of this grant is to understand the kinetics and timing of KRM niche filling following temporary pharmaceutical depletion.

Microbiology/Immunology Pilot Award 7/1/20-6/30/220.6 CM

Pilot GrantPI: Kurt Zimmerman

The goal of this study is to identify the kidney resident macrophage precursor cell and identify factors that control its seeding and differentiation into new kidney resident macrophages in health and disease.


DK119375PI: Kurt Zimmerman 4/1/20-3/31/2410.2 CM

The goal of this project is to study the role of CD4 T regulatory cells during in injury induced cystic disease in a conditional Ift88 mouse model.


HRFDCC Pilot and Feasibility Grant

5P30DK074038PI: Kurt Zimmerman 07/01/19-6/30/200.6 CM

The goal of this study is to identify and analyze resident macrophages in hepatorenal fibrocystic disease across species.

Baltimore PKD center Pilot and Feasibility Grant

2P30DK090868PI: Kurt Zimmerman 07/01/19-06/30/210.6 CM

The goal of this study is to study the role of CD4 T regulatory cells during rapid cystogenesis in a conditional Pkd2 model of renal cystic disease.