We are using pluripotent stem cell technologies to model blood diseases and to develop novel sources of hematopoietic cells for transplantation, blood transfusion, and cancer immunotherapy.
We defined the major cellular pathways leading to formation of blood and vascular progenitors, including several novel hematoendothelial and mesenchymal progenitors. Through comparative analysis of transcriptome and engraftment properties of these novel progenitors and fetal primitive blood cells as well as employing loss-of- and gain-on-function and lineage-tracing experiments, we expect to gain fundamental insights into molecular mechanisms leading to blood cell development.
These studies could ultimately revolutionize cellular therapies for blood cancer and hereditary blood disease, and can be exploited for discovery of new drugs regulating hematopoietic stem cells, as well. In addition we use reprogramming technology for modeling leukemia stem cell development and identification of novel drug targets for primitive leukemia cells.