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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…

ISEH 2020 Award Winners

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On behalf of the Awards Committee, ISEH would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2020 ISEH Honorific Awards, which will be presented at the ISEH 2020 Virtual Scientific Meeting:
2020 Donald Metcalf Award Winner: Harvey Lodish
As lead author of the textbook Molecular Cell Biology Harvey Lodish is probably one of the most widely recognized scientists from the field of Experimental Hematology. For over thirty years, Harvey’s textbook has been a companion for generations of undergraduate biology, biochemistry, medical students, with the 9th edition soon to come out. Harvey’s long track record starts with his first research paper, an abstract of work performed at Case Medical School while he was still in high school, on active transport of potassium in red cells, which was published 60 years ago. Harvey has worked with some of the top hematologists in the world, beginning with David Nathan, who did a sabbatical in his laboratory in 1970, which lead to one of the first papers elucidat…

Message from the President: 2020 Virtual Meeting Updates

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To the ISEH Community: Dear friends and colleagues,
I hope that you all have remained well during these unprecedented times. Over the last few months, our international scientific community has faced concerns over funding, lab shut-downs and re-opening plans, staying connected to lab members and the broader scientific community, and more recently social unrest. In light of all of this, I am truly impressed with our ingenuity and dedication to staying connected and abreast of the latest science. New avenues to view and present our research stories have grown out of necessity in this pandemic. Now, more than ever, our members are seeking an inclusive community to share with and learn from one another.In this spirit, I am excited to share some new details for our first Virtual ISEH 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting, which will take place on 19-21 August 2020.Our three-day ISEH 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting will include live broadcasts twice daily to maximize opportunities for m…

COVID-19 Series: ISEH "Happy Hour" #2 Wrap-up

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On May 8th, ISEH hosted our second installation of a ‘Happy Hour’ webinar to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on academic laboratories across the world. Our initial happy hour was focused on laboratories in the United States and Europe, where this installation provided insight from Japan, Australia and Europe. Led by an impromptu panel of investigators (Ayako Nakamura-Ishizu, Louise Purton, Carl Walkley, Atsushi Iwama, Mark Dawson, and Claudia Waskow), we discussed the impact the global pandemic on our laboratory operations and plans, our careers and those of trainees, and transitioning to work from home.  ISEH Headquarters staff 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 our trainee and junior PI faculty all over the world. Below are some highlight from the discussion:

Although most panelists faced a total shutdown of laboratory researc…

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: April 2020 (Volume 84)

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

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…

Message from the President: Emmanuelle Passegué

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Dear ISEH members and stakeholders,

As you are undoubtedly aware, COVID-19 has been making headlines around the world for the past
few weeks and months. On behalf of the ISEH Board of Directors, I would like to extend our heartfelt wishes that you, your family and friends are well. 

Here, at ISEH, we are continuing to monitor the situation closely to determine whether any changes will occur for the ISEH 49th Annual Scientific Meeting in New York City on 20-23 August, 2020. The health and safety of our event attendees and partners is of the utmost importance and we will be following any recommended guidelines and best practices laid out by relevant health and safety entities as August approaches.

In response to the uncertainty we face due to the COVID-19 outbreaks around the world, ISEH will be extending our Call for Abstracts deadline to May 8 (previously April 13). Please note, submission of an abstract is FREE to ISEH members. We hope that you will continue to submit abstracts …

Lab Spotlight: Cristina Lo Celso

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Cristina Lo Celso obtained her PhD exploring epidermal stem cells and the role of beta-catenin signalling in adult epidermal cell fate specification at University College London/Cancer Research UK, under the supervision of Fiona Watt. She then moved to Boston to join David Scadden’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow, where she established novel microscopy techniques and tools to visualise haematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow microenvironment for the first time in vivo and in real-time. Cristina is currently a Professor of stem cell biology at Imperial College London and a satellite investigator at the Francis Crick Institute, where her research focuses on understanding haematopoietic stem cell function during steady-state and in the presence of stress, such as leukaemia development and infection. 

How long have you had your lab?
10 years

How many members make up your lab?
We are 8 in total – 3 postdocs and 5 PhD students. I also co-supervise a number of PhD students who attend la…