A photo of Raphael Kopan.

Director, Division of Developmental Biology

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Biography & Affiliation


Raphael Kopan, PhD, who is a professor of developmental biology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center within the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, has carried out seminal work in the field of Notch biology. This work has, and continues to have, an enormous impact on our understanding of normal tissue development and renewal, Alzheimer's disease and cancer-related research. In deciphering the mode of Notch activation and demonstrating the use of inhibitors to modulate Notch activity, Dr. Kopan's work laid the groundwork for the therapeutic use of γ-secretase inhibitors in the treatment of cancers, currently in clinical trials. His current interests in organogenesis are focused on two modular organs - skin and kidney - in which his group is trying to understand how interplay among the same seven pathways results in activation of distant programs. Dr. Kopan's work has resulted in 120 scientific articles as of 2013. He is the co-inventor of one patent, and he has served on scientific advisory boards as well as being a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry.

Research Interests

Notch signaling; kidney organogenesis; skin organogenesis; TSLP signaling in cancer

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Developmental Biology

Blog Posts

Can the Kidney Development Window be Propped Open for Preterm Infants?

Genomics and Development

Can the Kidney Development Window be Propped Open for Preterm Infants?

Raphael Kopan, PhD6/30/2019

SPDamID: When Two Halves Make More Than a Whole

Tools for Science

SPDamID: When Two Halves Make More Than a Whole

Raphael Kopan, PhD6/28/2019


BS, MsC: Department of Zoology, Tel-Aviv University, Israel.

PhD: Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Post-doctoral training : The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.


Enhancer architecture sensitizes cell specific responses to Notch gene dose via a bind and discard mechanism. Kuang, Y; Golan, O; Preusse, K; Cain, B; Christensen, CJ; Salomone, J; Campbell, I; Okwubido-Williams, FV; Hass, MR; Yuan, Z; et al. eLife. 2020; 9.

Jag1 Modulates an Oscillatory Dll1-Notch-Hes1 Signaling Module to Coordinate Growth and Fate of Pancreatic Progenitors. Seymour, PA; Collin, CA; Egeskov-Madsen, AL R; Jorgensen, MC; Shimojo, H; Imayoshi, I; de Lichtenberg, KH; Kopan, R; Kageyama, R; Serup, P. Developmental Cell. 2020; 52:731-747.e8.

Hamartin regulates cessation of mouse nephrogenesis independently of Mtor. Volovelsky, O; Nguyen, T; Jarmas, AE; Combes, AN; Wilson, SB; Little, MH; Witte, DP; Brunskill, EW; Kopan, R. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. 2018; 115:5998-6003.

Glomerular endothelial cell maturation depends on ADAM10, a key regulator of Notch signaling. Farber, G; Hurtado, R; Loh, S; Monette, S; Mtui, J; Kopan, R; Quaggin, S; Meyer-Schwesinger, C; Herzlinger, D; Scott, RP; et al. Angiogenesis. 2018; 21:335-347.

Haploinsufficiency for the Six2 gene increases nephron progenitor proliferation promoting branching and nephron number. Combes, AN; Wilson, S; Phipson, B; Binnie, BB; Ju, A; Lawlor, KT; Cebrian, C; Walton, SL; Smyth, IM; Moritz, KM; et al. Kidney International. 2018; 93:589-598.

Analysis of chromatin accessibility in human epidermis identifies putative barrier dysfunction-sensing enhancers. Lander, JM; Supp, DM; He, H; Martin, LJ; Chen, X; Weirauch, MT; Boyce, ST; Kopan, R. PLoS ONE. 2017; 12:e0184500-e0184500.

The Canonical Notch Signaling Pathway: Structural and Biochemical Insights into Shape, Sugar, and Force. Kovall, RA; Gebelein, B; Sprinzak, D; Kopan, R. Developmental Cell. 2017; 41:228-241.

Randomized trial of calcipotriol combined with 5-fluorouracil for skin cancer precursor immunotherapy. Cunningham, TJ; Tabacchi, M; Eliane, J; Tuchayi, SM; Manivasagam, S; Mirzaalian, H; Turkoz, A; Kopan, R; Schaffer, A; Saavedra, AP; et al. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2017; 127:106-116.

Making new kidneys: On the road from science fiction to science fact. Volovelsky, O; Kopan, R. Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation. 2016; 21:574-580.

The Notch Intracellular Domain Has an RBPj-Independent Role during Mouse Hair Follicular Development. Turkoz, M; Townsend, RR; Kopan, R. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2016; 136:1106-1115.