ISEH March 2019 – Message from the President: Bertie Gottgens

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Many of you will have seen that the call for abstracts is now open for our annual meeting at  The official countdown to the 48th annual ISEH meeting has therefore begun.  I am really excited by the program put together by our scientific Program Committee, chaired by Emmanuelle Passegué, with a superb line-up of speakers across the broad research interests of our membership (

Please consider submitting an abstract and/or encourage others to do so.  In addition to securing a place in one of the legendary poster sessions at ISEH, 33 of the submitted abstracts will be selected for oral presentation at the meeting. Having such a large proportion of talks selected from submitted abstracts is indeed a distinguishing feature of the ISEH meeting.  As those of you who attend our meeting regularly will know, the abstract-selected talks often report the most-exciting and cuttin…

Announcing the 2019 ISEH Award Winners - David Scadden and David Traver

On behalf of the Awards Committee, we are very excited to announce the recipients of the 2019 International Society for Experimental Hematology (ISEH) Honorific Awards, which will be presented to David Scadden and David Traver at the Annual Scientific Meeting in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. In addition to their well-recognized status as world-wide leaders in the field of Hematology, both recipients are long-standing and active members of the ISEH community. We have been educated and inspired by their scientific insights as well as impressed by their unwavering mentorship and leadership efforts, and hope you will join us in offering them our sincere congratulations for their well-deserved receipt of our highest ISEH honors.

McCulloch and Till Award – David Traver
This award is intended to recognize early to mid-career scientists who have made a substantial impact in the field of Hematology

David Traver PhD, Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and of Cell and Developmental Bi…

Lab Spotlight: Steidl Lab

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 Steidl Lab at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, USA.

How long have you had your lab?   
11 years

How many members make up your lab? Students/postdocs?  
14 total, 5 graduate students, 6 postdocs, 3 technicians

What is the major research theme of your lab?   
Molecular Regulation and Targeting of Pre-Cancerous and Cancer Stem Cells in Hematopoiesis and Leukemogenesis

What is the most exciting project in your lab right now?  
We have several highly exciting projects going on in the lab right now. One project I am particularly excited about is using single molecule analysis to study transcription state dynamics in normal and malignant stem cell differentiation. Through a novel methodology at the single cell and si…

PIs at the Bench

Keep working at the bench or keep locked in the office? There are no clear regulations about this question so you may wonder about it too. In this short blog I will give no answer, but rather suggest some of my own thoughts. Please do not hesitate to add your reflections as there is not just one correct answer in real life.

Some of the best advice for any new PI includes the truth that it is a major transition: from doing your own experiments into managing a whole lab. The multiple duties of a new PI are time-consuming. Some PIs do have a personal life, so it is not much of a choice doing what you love or just what you have to do ASAP. You must spend most of your time in the office. But most is not all. YES, you CAN find the time for anything you really want to do. Some find the wet-lab work unattractive anyhow, some keep enjoying the work at the bench, so give it a thought so you may plan ahead and not have to compromise with other duties.

My father used to tell me that if I will si…

Exploring Experimental Hematology: Modeling human RNA spliceosome mutations in the mouse: not all mice were created equal

Chances are, you came across this hashtag last month: #10yearschallenge. Whether it was you or your Hollywood crush, you know it: people posted 2009/2019 side-by-side pictures on social media. Some people used it to spark up a conversation on climate change, “What Earth will look like in 2029?” Others (well, myself) thought instead: “What is the #10yearschallenge in cancer research?

Across the globe, population aging is becoming one of the biggest social transformations of this century. By 2029, almost 1 in every 5 residents in the U.S. will be of retirement age. Aging is a risk factor for virtually every cancer, and this means that our current challenge is to understand, and to model age-associated cancers, such as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and related myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms (MDS/MPN). In their review, “Modeling human RNA spliceosome mutations in the mouse: not all mice were created equal”, Carl Walkley and colleagues go over the murine models recapitulati…

How to Handle Scientific Rejection

Rejection.  If you asked people on the street, what they think of when they hear this word most people would relate to unsuccessful romantic attempts, perhaps being denied a car or mortgage loan, or even having your layup attempt swatted into the third row at your YMCA pickup basketball game.  But for research scientists this word conjures up different connotations – usually conveying unsuccessful attempts at applying for jobs, funding or publishing manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.  For most of us, ~80% of all such attempts are unsuccessful and thus come back with an email containing the dreaded “R” word.  Given that academic PIs spend the majority of their time writing grants and papers, one must find ways to deal with rejection if they are to overcome the obstacles and pursue a successful research career.

From my own perspective (faculty for 6.5 years), it has been something that I have to consciously make an effort not to take personally.  You pour in so much of your blood, s…

Simply Blood Lab Spotlight: Challen Lab

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 Challen Lab at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

How long have you had your lab? 
I have been independent faculty at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, USA) for 6.5 years.

How many members make up your lab?  Students/postdocs?
We currently have 7 permanent members of the lab (3 students, 2 post-docs, 2 technicians), plus a rotating cast of other characters (undergraduates, summer students, rotation students).

What is the major research theme of your lab?
Our laboratory research focuses on the epigenetic regulation of normal and malignant hematopoiesis.  That is, how do epigenetic factors regulate the balance between self-renewal and differentiation in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), …