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Exploring Experimental Hematology: July 2020 (Volume 87)

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In this issue of Simply Blood, we are highlighting and deconstructing one of the journal’s latest manuscripts by first author Darlene A. Monlish. In a recent study in the laboratory of Dr. Laura Schuettpelz (Washington University School of Medicine), Monlish et al described heterodimer-specific effects of TLR2 signaling on premalignant hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) in a mouse model of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). (Monlish et al., 2020).
TLR2 expression is increased on the HSPCs of patients with MDS, however its role in MDS pathogenesis is not clear. Notably, TLR2 heterodimerizes with TLR1 or TLR6, and while high TLR2 is associated with lower-risk disease, high TLR6, but not TLR1, correlates with higher-risk disease. This raises the possibility of heterodimer-specific effects of TLR2 signaling in MDS. Indeed, the authors found that chronic stimulation of TLR2/6 (but not TLR1/2) signaling accelerated leukemic transformation in a NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) mouse model of M…

2020 Award Winner Spotlight Series: Part III

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This week on Simply Blood we are continuing our 2020 Interview Spotlight Series. In Part III we are featuring the inaugural ISEH Janet Rowley Award Winner: Jennifer Trowbridge, Ph.D.. Dr. Trowbridge’s lab studies cell fate regulation within the hematopoietic system, with a current focus on the epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic stem cells and progenitor cell lineage commitment. Here, she answers questions about her work, trends in hematology, mentorship, and more. Have additional questions for Dr. Trowbridge? Don't miss her session at this year’s Virtual Scientific Meeting!
1. What was the biggest challenge that you had to face in your career so far? Recruiting a team of scientists that I fully believed in, and felt inspired by, took much longer than I anticipated after starting my lab. It was a significant challenge starting a laboratory in a fairly remote location and there were times when I honestly thought this dream would not happen. What it took for me to get through that …

Exploring Experimental Hematology: June 2020 (Volume 86)

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Exploring Experimental Hematology: Engineering of targeted megabase-scale deletions in human induced pluripotent stem cells
In this issue of Simply Blood, we are highlighting and deconstructing one of the journal’s latest manuscripts by first author Andriana G. Kotini. This paper is an extension of the Papapetrou Lab’s ongoing work focused on modeling myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). [https://www.exphem.org/article/S0301-472X(20)30193-4/]
Reason to read this paper: AML is one of the most common malignancies of adulthood, comprising about 1/3 of all new leukemia cases diagnosed in the United States each year. AML often develops from MDS, a preleukemic condition of HSC failure caused by recurrent somatic mutations and chromosomal aberrations in HSC clones that impair their effective differentiation. MDS occurs sporadically in older adults but can frequently affect younger people with inherited bone marrow fa…

2020 Interview Spotlight Series: Part II

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This week on Simply Blood we are continuing our 2020 Interview Spotlight Series. In Part II we are featuring the ISEH 2020 New Investigator's Invitee: Elisa Laurenti, MBS; PhD. Dr. Laurenti answers questions about her work, trends in hematology, mentorship, and more. Have additional questions for Dr. Laurenti? Don't miss her session at this year's Virtual Scientific Meeting.
1. How would you describe your science?
Ultimately, I want to contribute to the understanding of how such a complex cellular system as blood production is set up and maintained. Currently my laboratory is particularly interested in how haematopoiesis changes throughout a human life, starting from the embryo all the way to the old age. From my PhD, I have been fascinated by cellular quiescence, and why its molecular regulation is such an important feature to maintain healthy blood production. Now my laboratory looks at how understanding quiescence networks can contribute to gene therapy and ex vivo expans…

2020 Award Winner Spotlight Series: Part I

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This week on Simply Blood we are beginning our 2020 Award Winner Spotlight Series. In Part I we are featuring the ISEH 2020 McCulloch & Till Award Winner: Mark Dawson, MBBS; BMedSci; FRACP; FRCPA; PhD. Dr. Dawson answers questions about his work, trends in hematology, mentorship, and more. Have additional questions for Dr. Dawson? Don't miss his session at this year's Virtual Scientific Meeting.


1. What key question would you like to answer with your science?
My research has primarily focused on understanding the role of chromatin / epigenetic regulators in the initiation & maintenance of cancers (especially haematological malignancies). We have also been particularly interested in understanding how epigenetic regulators may facilitate acquired resistance to cancer therapies.
Our interest in this area has been shared by many labs across the work and over the last 10-years work from a number of labs, including mine, have contributed substantial insights into all these fun…

Lab Spotlight: The Machlus 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 Machlus Lab at Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women’s Hospital! 

1. How long has your lab been open?  The Machlus Lab has been open for about 2.5 years! 
2. What is the current composition of the Machlus lab?  We are still small, with 2 postdocs and 2 research technicians. However, we are part of a larger group- the BWH Platelet Group- with 4 different PIs working on platelets, megakaryocytes, and hematopoiesis. We share space and have lab meetings together, so it feels like one big happy family!
3. What are the overarching research goals of the Machlus Lab? Ultimately, we aim to determine what triggers megakaryocytes to make platelets in both normal physiology and inflammatory conditions such as autoimmune diseases. If we can understand …

Exploring Experimental Hematology: May 2020 (Volume 85)

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Exploring Experimental Hematology: Single-cell transcriptome in chronic myeloid leukemia: pseudotime analysis reveals evidence of embryonic and transitional stem cell states
In this issue of Simply Blood, David Stachura is exploring Experimental Hematology by highlighting and deconstructing one of the journal’s latest manuscripts by first author Sarah Pagliaro, from the laboratory of Ali G. Turhan [https://www.exphem.org/article/S0301-472X(20)30142-9/].
Reasons you should read this paper:
About 15% of adult leukemia is categorized as Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML).  It’s a clonal hematopoietic disease that usually results from a t(9;22) chromosomal translocation, causing the formation of the BCR-ABL oncogene.  This tyrosine kinase (TK) is responsible for activating downstream molecular pathways that allow the uncontrollable growth of cancer cells.  While tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) drugs that can slow and stop the progression of the disease exist, many patients become immune to these…