A photo of Raphael Kopan.

Raphael Kopan, PhD

  • Director, Division of Developmental Biology
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



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.

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.


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

Research Areas

Developmental Biology


Endothelial Notch signaling directly regulates the small GTPase RND1 to facilitate Notch suppression of endothelial migration. Swaminathan, B; Youn, SW; Naiche, LA; Du, J; Villa, SR; Metz, JB; Feng, H; Zhang, C; Kopan, R; Sims, PA; et al. Scientific Reports. 2022; 12:1655.

Revisiting the role of Notch in nephron segmentation confirms a role for proximal fate selection during mouse and human nephrogenesis. Duvall, K; Crist, L; Perl, AJ; Shakked, NP; Chaturvedi, P; Kopan, R. Development (Cambridge). 2022; 149:dev200446.

TSLP disease-associated genetic variants combined with airway TSLP expression influence asthma risk. Murrison, LB; Ren, X; Preusse, K; He, H; Kroner, J; Chen, X; Jenkins, S; Johansson, E; Biagini, JM; Weirauch, MT; et al. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2022; 149:79-88.

Progenitor translatome changes coordinated by Tsc1 increase perception of Wnt signals to end nephrogenesis. Jarmas, AE; Brunskill, EW; Chaturvedi, P; Salomonis, N; Kopan, R. Nature Communications. 2021; 12:6332.

Enhancers with cooperative Notch binding sites are more resistant to regulation by the Hairless co-repressor. Kuang, Y; Pyo, A; Eafergan, N; Cain, B; Gutzwiller, LM; Axelrod, O; Gagliani, EK; Weirauch, MT; Kopan, R; Kovall, RA; et al. PLoS Genetics. 2021; 17:e1009039.

Increasing mTORC1 Pathway Activity or Methionine Supplementation during Pregnancy Reverses the Negative Effect of Maternal Malnutrition on the Developing Kidney. Makayes, Y; Resnick, E; Hinden, L; Aizenshtein, E; Shlomi, T; Kopan, R; Nechama, M; Volovelsky, O. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. 2021; 32:1898-1912.

Runx1 shapes the chromatin landscape via a cascade of direct and indirect targets. Hass, MR; Brissette, D; Parameswaran, S; Pujato, M; Donmez, O; Kottyan, LC; Weirauch, MT; Kopan, R. PLoS Genetics. 2021; 17:e1009574.

The Rhesus Macaque Serves As a Model for Human Lateral Branch Nephrogenesis. Schuh, MP; Alkhudairy, L; Potter, A; Potter, SS; Chetal, K; Thakkar, K; Salomonis, N; Kopan, R. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. 2021; 32:1097-1112.

Notch dimerization and gene dosage are important for normal heart development, intestinal stem cell maintenance, and splenic marginal zone B-cell homeostasis during mite infestation. Kobia, FM; Preusse, K; Dai, Q; Weaver, N; Hass, MR; Chaturvedi, P; Stein, SJ; Pear, WS; Yuan, Z; Kovall, RA; et al. PLoS biology. 2020; 18:e3000850.

Notch signaling regulates Akap12 expression and primary cilia length during renal tubule morphogenesis. Mukherjeel, M; Ratnayake, I; Janga, M; Fogarty, E; Scheidt, S; Grassmeyer, J; DeRiso, J; Chandrasekar, I; Ahrenkiel, SP; Kopan, R; et al. The FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 2020; 34:9512-9530.

From the Blog

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SPDamID: When Two Halves Make More Than a Whole

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