McMaster University

McMaster University

Darren Bridgewater

, PhD

Associate Professor
Pathology and Molecular Medicine

Division: Anatomy

McMaster University
1R1B Health Sciences Centre
905-525-9140 ext. 20754

Currently Accepting Graduate Students
Currently Accepting Post-Doc Fellows

Darren Bridgewater

Faculty Biography

Education and Professional Standing

Post-doctoral research fellow, Developmental Biology, Division of Nephrology, The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, (Toronto), 2009

PhD, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, UWO, 2004

Honors Bachelor of Science in Genetics, UWO, 1999


Research Focus

Approximately 3 million Canadians are diagnosed with kidney disease. These patients may exhibit a generalized range of symptoms including fatigue, loss of appetite, swelling of the feet, itchy skin and more. While early treatment is ideal, the early detection of kidney disease is challenging due to the vagueness of the symptoms. As kidney disease progresses, numerous complications often arise including hypertension, anemia, and bone disease. Further, the progression to late stage kidney disease often requires life-preserving renal replacement therapies such as kidney dialysis or kidney transplant. Therefore, understanding the underlying causes of kidney disease (i.e. genetic, environmental, epigenetic) will help 1) identify patients at risk for kidney disease, 2) allow early treatment to prevent progression, and 3) contribute foundational knowledge for the development of new treatment targets and/or strategies.

Developmental defects in the kidney can lead to both childhood and adult kidney disease. They may also be the underlying reason why select patients develop kidney disease when challenged with an insult such as infection or hypertension. Dr. Bridgewater’s research focuses on the developmental origins of kidney disease with the goal to enable early identification and to develop new treatments to prevent the progression of kidney disease. Dr. Bridgewater has identified two molecules, ß-catenin and shroom3, that play essential roles in kidney development, with abnormalities in their function leading to childhood and adult kidney disease.

For more information on Dr. Bridgewater’s research projects please visit

Dr. Bridgewater’s research is funded through the Kidney Foundation of Canada (2015-2017), NSERC (2012-2017), and CIHR (2015-2021).


Academic Interests

Dr Bridgewater’s main teaching responsibility is teaching anatomy to medical students (Year 1 & 2). He is the Regional Anatomy Coordinator for the Waterloo and Niagara campuses and has developed a novel clinically relevant anatomy curriculum at these campuses. He has received awards for outstanding teaching in 2012, 2014, and 2015 for his work. He is also teaching courses at the Undergraduate and Graduate level, including Demystifying Medicine (4DM3), HTHSCI 2FF3-Anatomy and Physiology II (HTHSCI 2FF3), Physiotherapy, and Topics in Nephrology and Disease (MS768).

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

  • Stromal β-catenin over-expression contributes to the pathogenesis of renal dysplasia. Boivin FJ, Sarin S, Dabas P, Karolak M, Oxburgh L, Bridgewater D. Journal of Pathology. 2016 Mar 9.
  • Developmental Origins for Kidney Disease Due to Shroom3 Deficiency. Khalili H, Sull A, Sarin S, Boivin FJ, Halabi R, Svajger B, Li A, Cui VW, Drysdale T, Bridgewater D. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2016 Mar 3
  • The Good and Bad of β-Catenin in Kidney Development and Renal Dysplasia. Boivin FJ, Sarin S, Evans JC, Bridgewater D. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2015 Dec 22;3:81.
  • Life as a new investigator. Bridgewater D. Can J Kidney Health Dis. 2015 Dec 1;2:47
  • Stromally expressed β-catenin modulates Wnt9b signaling in the ureteric epithelium. Boivin FJ, Sarin S, Lim J, Javidan A, Svajger B, Khalili H, Bridgewater D. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 24;10(3)
  • Insights into the renal pathogenesis in Schimke immuno-osseous dysplasia: A renal histological characterization and expression analysis. Sarin S, Javidan A, Boivin F, Alexopoulou I, Lukic D, Svajger B, Chu S, Baradaran-Heravi A, Boerkoel CF, Rosenblum ND, Bridgewater D. J Histochem Cytochem. 2015 Jan;63(1):32-44.
  • β-Catenin overexpression in the metanephric mesenchyme leads to renal dysplasia genesis via cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous mechanisms. Sarin S, Boivin F, Li A, Lim J, Svajger B, Rosenblum ND, Bridgewater D. Am J Pathol. 2014 May;184(5):1395-410.
  • Canonical WNT/beta-catenin signaling is required for ureteric branching. Bridgewater D, Cox B, Cain J, Lau A, Athaide V, Gill PS, Kuure S, Sainio K, Rosenblum ND. Dev Biol. 2008 May 1;317(1):83-94.

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