Showing posts from May, 2019

The ISEH Junior Investigator Grant Writing Workshop—a key to your future success!

Obtaining independent grant funding for a new lab is hard.  We all know it, but it feels bigger and heavier when it’s your own lab on the line.  In 2013 I set up my own lab and submitted my first R01 application.  I felt that I had done my due diligence in preparing for this momentous step – having completed 16 (!) years of postgraduate training.  I had put the work in and knew that this was the next leap I needed to take to really become an independent scientist.  Yet even with the benefits granted to new and “young” applicants, my score on that first R01 fell far short of the funding line. I felt the sting and shame of failure, and it rooted itself in a very dark place in my psyche. Over the next year I worked and worked and worked – mostly alone and in my office, and after a full year submitted a revision of the first grant that I felt could pass muster. I had even paid a professional editing service to help with feedback on that grant. So, when that grant was not even scored,

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

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 pr

Exploring Experimental Hematology: March 2019 (Volume 71)

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

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

 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. Jiahao Chen (first author), Amit Verma and Ulrich Steidl (co-corresponding authors) 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 f

Lab Spotlight: Chan 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 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 clon