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Showing posts from March, 2020

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…

Live-animal imaging of native haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells: An interview with Constantina Christodoulou, Joel Spencer and Shu-Chi (Allison) Yeh

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Over the last few decades, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have been prospectively identified and studied based on their ability to functionally regenerate and maintain the entire blood system through serial transplantation.  While many important determinants of HSC activity have been elucidated through these foundational assays, less is known as to how HSCs function in unperturbed states within their native microenvironments.  Advancements in genetic tools have recently begun to open up opportunities for researchers to address these gaps in our understanding of HSC biology.  Here, I interviewed co-first authors Dr. Constantina Christodoulou, Dr. Joel Spencer and Dr. Shu-Chi (Allison) Yeh, who provided some further commentary on their recent successful efforts to image HSCs in live animals with the support of collaborative teams led by Dr. Fernando Camargo and Dr. Charles Lin (Christodoulou et al., 2020).

1.    First off, congratulations on your monumental achievement of imaging HSCs …

The Best Part of a Cake is the Frosting; How to Choose Service Obligations that Enhance Your Career

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Scientists are like bakers. Although a great baker will work hard and put all their effort to make an amazing cake, it would remain incomplete and less attractive without frosting. The same could be applied to your career in biomedical research. But what is the perfect ratio of frosting for showcasing your cake?


A prolific scientific career is not all about the science. Although you must invest countless hours to diversify your expertise, make yourself attractive for future employers and collaborators, and progress throughout your journey as a scientist, there are many skills which are essential for becoming a successful independent researcher that you cannot learn in the lab. In many institutions, including scientists holding a tenure-track position in the United States, there are requirements above scholarly activity such as teaching and service components. To this end, as careers evolve and expand, many scientists take on additional service and leadership roles within their institu…