Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into hematopoietic progenitors and mature blood cells to understand molecular mechanisms of hematopoietic differentiation and provide a novel source of cells for bone marrow transplantation, transfusion and cancer immunotherapy.
We use integrative approaches, including genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics, to understand important cellular and molecular events underlying blood cell development and diversification from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). We defined the major cellular pathways leading to formation of blood cells from hPSCs and identified novel hematoendothelial, hematopoietic and mesenchymal progenitors. Through comparative analysis of transcriptome and engraftment properties of these novel progenitors and fetal blood cells, as well as employing loss-of-function, gain-of-function and lineage-tracing experiments, we gain fundamental insights into molecular mechanisms controlling blood cell development. These studies may unveil novel off-the-shelf cellular therapies for blood cancer and hereditary blood disease and can be exploited for discovery of drugs regulating hematopoietic stem cells.