Showing posts from 2019

Glimpses of the 2019 ISEH Annual Scientific Meeting

The 48th Annual International Society for Experimental Hematology meeting took place on 22-25 August, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. Thank you to all of the attendees who joined us this year and celebrated the field of Hematology through research, networking and socializing with your peers. We captured many moments of the Annual Meeting and we are very excited to share them with you.

Thank you to Jess Gottgens and all of our photographers for taking these photos. To view more pictures please view our Google Photos Album.
We hope to see you all in New York in 2020! 

Lab Spotlight: Lancrin 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 Lancrin Lab at EMBL Rome - Epigenetics and Neurobiology Unit.

1. How long have you had your lab?
I have started my lab about 8 years ago.

2. How many members make up your lab?  Students/postdocs?
I have seven lab members including one lab manager, one PhD student, two Master students and three research assistants.

3. What is the major research theme of your lab?
Our major research goal is to understand our hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are produced during embryonic development. This happens through a process called endothelial to hematopoietic transition (EHT) when HSCs emerge from endothelial cells, the building blocks of blood vessels. This moment is critical because this is when our pool of HSCs is established for the rest of our lif…

An Atypical Career Path


Thank You to Our Sponsors and Exhibitors!

The 48th Annual International Society for Experimental Hematology meeting is taking place now in Brisbane, Australia. The exciting program ( includes career and technology sessions, as well as talks and poster presentations from trainees, new investigators and leaders in the field.

On behalf of the ISEH Board of Directors, volunteers and staff, we'd like to thank our 2019 sponsors and exhibitors, seen below. We hope to see you all in New York in 2020!

Thank you to our 2019 gold Sponsor

Thank you to our 2019 silver Sponsors

Thank you to our 2018 Bronze Sponsor

Thank you to our 2019 Supporters

Thank you to our 2019 Educational Support Sponsors

New Investigators: The subtle art of conferencing

The idea of this post came at the end of an interesting and compact session on myeloid biology at [large scientific meeting on hematopoiesis]. Although the immediate thought of the moment was the need for glucose and caffeine, the discussion with ISEH colleagues gradually evolved into how to maximize the benefit of scientific conferences.

Scientific meetings come as a tradeoff between time productively spent in the lab and delocalizing in order to get context, information, and inspiration. Meetings are filled with a mixture of excitement and anxiety from learning the advancement of the field, the reward of showcasing hard work, and the opportunity to exchange ideas with leaders in your specific field of research. They are an integral part of a researcher’s life. However, selection of which meetings to attend requires prior knowledge of target attendees and the organizers’ mission. Regardless of the level of training, one benefits differently from large versus smaller, more focused mee…

How to Review a Scientific Grant

Scientific research is expensive.  Discoveries need dollars.  The vast majority of academic medical research is supported by funding from charitable Foundations, or national governments (e.g. NIH).  The “gold standard” for funding success as a tenure-track faculty member at an academic institute in the USA is obtaining R01’s (or equivalent) from the NIH.  But with a relatively stagnant budget over the last decade, and more PIs competing for that pot of money, NIH pay lines have shrunk dramatically (see Figure).  There is more pressure than ever on PIs to write good grants to support their research.  In turn, this also means there is a tremendous amount of pressure on grant reviewers to thoughtfully evaluate the proposals to ensure the most meritorious applications are selected for funding.  As an early-to-mid career PI, I have now had the chance to serve on several study sections for both Foundations and the NIH.  I have learned a lot about the process of grant review (which in turn …

An Interview with Dr. David Traver, PhD, Recipient of the 2019 ISEH McCulloch & Till Award

Interviewed by Novella Guidi of the ISEH New Investigators Committee

What key question would you like to answer with your science?

How are hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) born during embryonic development? Every year we learn more and more regarding the genetic inputs and cellular interactions needed to form HSCs. Yet, this process that occurs in the embryo cannot be replicated in vitro from pluripotent stem cells. So, we still have a great deal to learn regarding how the known signals are integrated into the precursors of HSCs to enable their formation.

What has been the biggest challenge that you have to face in your career?

Maintaining a consistent stream of funding. It seems that funding is often either feast or famine, with either option being fairly arbitrary. I hope we can improve the system in the U.S. to better link a laboratory’s track record with grant success.

What do you most value in a student or a member of your team?

I think motivation and curiosity are key traits of a s…

Implicit Bias in Peer Review

When the term implicit bias is mentioned, many people's initial response is "But I'm not biased!” Of course, most of us are keenly aware of explicit bias, or prejudice - the kind that is easy to identify, might cause eye rolls or dropped mouths, and is openly discouraged in our educated circles.  Implicit bias is much more discrete, and much harder to identify.  It is also something we're all guilty of, because it occurs without us even knowing.  

Implicit bias is intimately linked to our own personal experience, and unconsciously affects our opinions and decisions, both positive and negative. It is molded over a lifetime of experience, images, stories, and perceptions.  Sometimes, our implicit bias is contrary to our stated ideals.  Implicit bias is omni-present, and predicts our behavior and response to specific situations, our judgements and decisions.  Implicit bias affects everyone, regardless of race, religion, or origin.  The good news is that implicit bias i…

An Interview with Dr. David Scadden, MD, Recipient of the 2019 ISEH Donald Metcalf Award

Interviewed by Stephen Loughran of the ISEH New Investigators Committee

If you had to pick one discovery, what do you think has been your greatest contribution to science to date?

At the risk of being grandiose, I would like to think that my lab helped open up the field of niche biology. First, by using an engineered mouse to alter a specific subset of bone marrow stromal cells and showing a hematopoietic phenotype. And, second, by showing that perturbing a specific set of stromal cells leads to disordered hematopoiesis and myeloid malignancy. I think these studies helped define elements of hematopoietic niches and perhaps, encouraged others to study mammalian niche biology more broadly. I don’t think there were any in vivo studies defining a mammalian niche before the work from my and Linheng Li’s labs.

How did you get into the field you are working on?

I have a very practical orientation driven by my training as a physician so I was interested in hematopoiesis as a way to create more …

Leading a research group in Europe - Part III: Italy

In my last two posts of this series of blogs on being a PI in Europe, I gave an overview of the French and British systems. In this new entry, I will discuss the Italian system. I will also talk about the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), an intergovernmental scientific organization that operates a research unit near Rome where I am currently a principal investigator (PI).

People entering the Italian research section are in majority people who performed their PhD research in Italy. After graduation, one is encouraged to undertake the post-doctoral research abroad. Successful PostDoc will likely gain a position in ones' alma-mater. In the Italian university system, a researcher can return to her/his former lab and work there as a post-doc for a few years.

One way to gain a permanent position as a professor in an Italian university starts with an exam called “concorso”. First, one has to become a ricercatore tipo A (RtdA). This position is for three years. Practically, …