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Experimental Hematology

University Medical Center Groningen

Department of Experimental Hematology

The general aims of the division of Experimental Hematology are to obtain detailed knowledge on (molecular) mechanisms that determine hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, with the ultimate goal to deepen our insights in the development of human leukemias. We perform gene-function analyses in human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells isolated from cordblood and bone marrow utilizing various strategies including optimized retro/lentiviral transduction protocols and inducible RNAi approaches. We have a longstanding expertise in using molecular approaches to further understand processes such as hematopoietic differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis and self-renewal. We utilize a series of cell biological in vitro and in vivo model systems to be able to translate knowledge from our molecular research lines to more general concepts of hematopoietic stem cell biology. Furthermore, we have banked large series of leukemic patient material and are currently focusing on elucidating whether leukemic stem cells exist, what their phenotype is, which mechanisms result in enhanced self-renewal and a disturbed differentiation profile, and whether we can restore the normal hematopoietic differentiation program by e.g. interfering at the genetic level or by utilizing novel therapeutical agents. We anticipate that our studies will lead to a more rational approach in the clinic of this highly malignant disorder.

Experimental Hematology lab
Experimental Hematology lab

Our ongoing studies include the following topics:

1. Identification of mechanisms involved in human hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and lineage commitment

2. Interactions between hematopoietic stem cells and their bone marrow microenvironment

3. Molecular mechanisms underlying the development of human leukemias:

  - Building retro/lentiviral transduction models that recapitulate human leukemias

  - Interfering with derailed signal transduction in primary leukemic stem cells

  - Gene expression profiling of leukemic stem cell-enriched populations

  - Screening for novel leukemic stem cell markers

  - Elucidation of Polycomb Repression Complex (PRC) composition in relation to target gene expression and leukemic transformation  

4. The effects of transplantation on long-term self-renewal and quiescence of hematopoietic stem cells

5. The involvement of NPM mutations on the development of AML

6. The effects of aging on normal and leukemic stem cells

7. Hematopoietic master regulators and leukemic stem cell evolution.

Last modified:May 10, 2013 12:01