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Leading a Research Group in Europe - Part II: United Kingdom

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Throughout the next few months ISEH member, Christophe Lancrin, will be highlighting his professional journey working in various European countries. This month we travel to the United Kingdom.


Last month, I have started a series of blogs to give a snapshot of how it is to work in academia in Europe. In the first entry, I presented the French system where tenure track is not common and young scientists who just completed their post-doctoral research could get permanent state-funded positions right away.

In this new entry, I will discuss the British system. For the readers who are based in the US, they will notice similarities between the two countries. In particular, a starting group leader has usually to go through the tenure track process before being awarded a permanent position.

I did my post-doctoral research in the UK at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research now Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute. Cancer Research UK is one of the largest charities in Europe and provides c…

Exploring Experimental Hematology: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Modeling of Malignant Hematopoiesis

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In this issue of Simply Blood, Yoon-A Kang is exploring Experimental Hematology by highlighting and deconstructing one of her favorite manuscripts from the ISEH society journal: "Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Modeling of Malignant Hematopoiesis"

The discovery of a means to induce cellular pluripotency by introducing four transcription factors (Sox2, Klf4, Oct3/4 and c-Myc) (Takahashi et al., 2007) has heralded a global scientific re-thinking of genetics and epigenetics among developmental processes and disease. A decade later, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with genome editing technology have now opened doors to help answer questions previously limited in the past. Here is a sneak preview of an excellent review where Mark Chao and Ravindra Majeti cover this line of work and more:

My reason for reading this review:
Disease modeling provides important first steps to understand disease pathology and underlying mechanisms that inform ways to eventually discover therapeut…

Clonal Dynamics at the Stem Cell Level in the Progression of Myelodysplastic Syndrome to Acute Myeloid Leukemia: An Interview with Jiahao Chen

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A widely known fact is that patients diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are at a significantly increased risk for developing subsequent acute myeloid leukemia (AML).  However, how these clinical entities are related at a clonal level has not been well elucidated, let alone studied at the single-cell-level in comparing stem and blast cell populations from the same individual over time. At last year’s ISEH 2018 meeting in Los Angeles, I met Jiahao Chen, the first author of a recently published paper from Dr. Ulrich Steidl’s lab at Albert Einstein College of Medicine who addressed these knowledge gaps (Chen et al. 2019).  Here are answers to a few follow-up questions about his work that was first reported at the annual meeting.



1.  What is the most important take-home message readers should get from your work?

I would say that the most important message from our work comes from our demonstration that stem cells within MDS and AML have a much higher level of clonal he…

Lab Spotlight: Chan 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 Chan lab at the University of Toronto (Canada).


How long have you had your lab?
I started my lab in November 2015 and it has been quite a learning experience and exciting journey so far!

How many members make up your lab?  Students/postdocs?
My lab currently has 1 technician, 1 clinical fellow, 3 postdocs, 1 graduate student and 1 undergraduate student.

What is the major research theme of your lab?
We study acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and are interested in elucidating its functional dependencies on certain metabolic and mitochondrial pathways to identify novel therapeutic targets for this disease.  We also have an interest in determining whether it is possible to intervene earlier during stages of pre-leukemia and/or clonal hematopoies…

New Investigators: You got engaged?

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As the importance of public engagement is increasingly recognised, the phrase is being used more frequently.

We all love haematology research, and are fortunate that the public, through governments and charities, supports us strongly enough that they are willing to pay for our experiments (and our rent…). Researchers have a responsibility to return the favour – to inform the public about what we do and how it benefits them, answer their questions, and listen to their expectations for our research. These collaborative interactions between experts and non-experts have been labelled public engagement. To ensure that they are serving society as effectively as possible, scientific institutions are increasingly encouraging, and sometimes even requiring, researchers to engage with the community. Public engagement in the sciences aims to expand from the traditional approach where the only goal was to increase the public’s understanding of science, to focus on mutual interactions…

Exploring Experimental Hematology: RUNX1 and the Endothelial Origin of Blood

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In this issue of Simply Blood, Teresa Bowman is exploring Experimental Hematology by highlighting and deconstructing one of her favorite manuscripts from the ISEH society journal: "RUNX1 and the Endothelial Origin of Blood" by Gao et al.


The functionality of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to replenish and maintain the entire hematopoietic system is the basis for bone marrow transplantation, one of the most well established stem cell-based therapies. Transplantation is curative for many hematologic disorders, but immune-matched donor cells remain limited for many patients. Understanding how HSCs form endogenously during development should provide key insights into expanding donor HSCs from existing sources or generating HSCs from pluripotent stem cells. HSCs first arise during embryonic development through an endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition. Extensive work over the past decade has revealed that not all endothelial cells possess the capacity to form blood cells, and t…

Leading a Research Group in Europe - Part I: France

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Throughout the next few months ISEH member, Christophe Lancrin, will be highlighting his professional journey working in various European countries. This month we travel to France to explore Christophe's knowledge about the two main state-funded scientific organizations and the most typical way to enter the French system.


“When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do”, I think we have heard this phrase when we want to emphasize that each country may have their own way to do certain things. But have you wonder if “Roman’s” have a specific way to become and being a Principal Investigator? The short answer is yes, and not only Italian’s but I found differences among at least three different European countries that I have worked. Whether you are looking for a job opportunity in Europe or just to expand your knowledge on how is to do research among different countries, I am sure you will find this Blog series very useful.

Over my research career, I have worked in France, United Kingdom and Ital…