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Lab Spotlight: Murphy Lab

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Each month, Simply Blood spotlights a lab focused on the research of basic hematology, immunology, stem cell research, cell and gene therapy, and other related aspects. Get to know these different labs around the world! This month, we are featuring the Murphy Lab at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

How long have you had your lab?
4 years

How many members make up your lab?  Students/postdocs?
We currently have 3 postdocs, 5 Ph.D. students, and 2 Honours students.

What is the major research theme of your lab?
My lab focuses on how chronic inflammatory disorders promote the enhanced production of myeloid cells. This is largely in the context of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the associated co-morbidities and dietary risk-factors. This is important as we and others have shown over the past 5-10 years that enhanced production of myeloid cells directly influences CVD. Thus, understanding the different mechanisms each risk-factor utilizes to communicate with the h…

COVID 19 Series: Sweden makes our blood (research) turn cold

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In just a few weeks, the Covid-19 situation has tremendously changed people´s lives, shaking up our habits and redefining priorities. From the typical hectic rhythm of research life, measures to confront the pandemic has drastically transformed our working routine. In a time where confinement is erected as the best and only shield against the virus, Sweden stands out by its particular management of the crisis situation.

Our lab, the Cell, Tissue and Organ engineering laboratory is located in Lund, in the southern part of Sweden. Lund is a vibrant university town -the second largest in the country, and a particular hub regarding hematopoietic and neuroscience research. Here, we study how human bones form, function and repair upon trauma. We develop new in vitro and in vivo tools providing advanced models of human bones, towards deciphering their incredible regenerative capacity, but also understanding how they orchestrate the formation of new blood cells.

Of course, like any other la…

COVID 19 Series: Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic

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We are experiencing a global pandemic that none of us have ever encountered before. It has brought with it many challenges, particularly for researchers whose work consists largely of wet laboratory experiments. Additional challenges are faced by researchers who have dependent children at home with them. Being an international society, the situation in each country is different and changing
constantly. However there are many commonalities, including forming strategies to work effectively from home, which is a situation that many may not be familiar with. This blog is predominantly directed at the early to mid-career researchers, but the information may also be of help to more senior researchers.

First, stay calm. We cannot control the current situation but we can control how we respond to it. The top priority should be to be safe, happy and healthy. Make sure you keep on top of your mental health, if you are suffering from significant anxiety, depression or other mental health issues…

Message from the President: Annual Meeting Update

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To the ISEH Community:

Dear friends and colleagues,

Around the world, we are experiencing unprecedented times. The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has resulted in subsequent safety concerns, travel restrictions, and a call for social distancing.  In an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our attendees, speakers, sponsors, and staff, the ISEH Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to postpone our in-personISEH Annual Meeting in New York City, USA, to next year in August 2021.

Many of us look forward to this event every year – we get to preview the latest and best research happening around the world and gather with a close community of researchers. The Annual Meeting continues to be a cornerstone of the ISEH community, and as such, we are excited to announce that ISEH 2020 will transform into aVirtual Scientific Meeting planned for the same initial week of August 17th, 2020.

As we are in the early phase of putting together this online event, there are still…

COVID 19 Series: Happy Hour Wrap-Up

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On April 10th, ISEH hosed a webinar – actually more of a ‘Happy Hour’ to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on academic laboratories across the world.  Led by an impromptu panel of investigators (Camilla Forsberg, Trista North, Ross Levine, Len Zon, Kristina Kirshner, Momoko Yoshimoto-Kobayashi, Hanna Mikkola, Jennifer Trowbridge and Grant Rowe), we discussed the impact the global pandemic on our laboratory operations, our careers and those of trainees, and transitioning to work from home.  Katie Strang and Dovile Svirupskaite mediated the event and answered questions on the side in the parallel chat conversation.

We are looking forward to holding another virtual meeting in the coming weeks to touch on these issues and new challenges faced by investigators all over the world.

Here, we will present some highlights:

On laboratory operations
Most panelists faced a total shutdown of laboratory research, with access to facilities limited to ‘essential personnel’ necessary to maintain equipme…

Exploring Experimental Hematology: Tandem P-selectin glycoprotein ligand immunoglobulin (TSGL-Ig) prevents lung vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease mice

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In this issue of Simply Blood, Derek Chan is exploring Experimental Hematology by highlighting and deconstructing one of the journal’s latest manuscripts on work led by first author Ravi Vats from the laboratory team of Dr. Prithu Sundd (Vats et al., 2020).

How do vaso-occlusive episodes occur in sickle cell disease?
The clinical course for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) often involves recurrent and unpredictable episodes of painful vaso-occlusive episodes (VOEs) that may precipitate life-threatening sequelae.  While the molecular basis for SCD is well understood, the complex mechanisms underlying VOEs are not as well elucidated.

In these last two decades, several research groups have worked to characterize the contributions of both cellular and soluble components to the cascade of events leading to VOEs.  Notably, work using intravital microscopy has shown that the predominant in vivo interactions in the setting of a VOE occur between circulating sickled red blood cells, adhe…

Lab Spotlight: Liu Lab

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Each month, Simply Blood spotlights a lab focused on the research of basic hematology, immunology, stem cell research, cell and gene therapy, and other related aspects. Get to know these different labs around the world! This month, we are featuring the Liu Lab at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China.


1. How long have you had your lab? 
11 years. I set up my lab in Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2009.

2. How many members make up your lab?  Students/postdocs?
Currently, there are 17 members in my lab, including myself, 2 staff scientists and 14 graduate students.

3. What is the major research theme of your lab?
Our lab is focused on developmental hematopoiesis, primarily using zebrafish and mouse as animal models in addition to human cell cultures.

4. What is the most exciting project in your lab right now?

There are many exciting projects ongoing in my lab. The most fascinating project is to dissect the complex hematopoietic t…