Posts

Showing posts from 2021

COVID-19 Lockdown Effects on Research in Melbourne

Image
Australia has been relatively lucky in the current pandemic because, to date, we have managed to eliminate community transmissions of COVID. We did, however, experience significant community transmission in Melbourne (and some other parts of Australia) in 2020. The people of Melbourne (a city of approximately 5 million people) were subjected to strict lockdowns that has, fortunately, been successful. I have been asked to give a first-hand account of the local situation and the impact on researchers in Melbourne. Our first lockdown commenced on 24th March. Social distancing measures were put in place everywhere. We were permitted to leave our homes for 2 hours daily for exercise and shopping, although it was advised to limit shopping and preferably only have one household member do the shopping. Our second, harsh lockdown commenced on 9th July and continued through the end of October. We were allowed one hour of exercise outside per day (restricted to a 5km limit) and only one household

Lab Spotlight: The Ottersbach Lab

Image
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 Ottersbach Lab at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh! 1. How long have you had your lab for? I established my lab first in Cambridge in September 2006 and then I moved the lab to Edinburgh in March 2015. Overall, I had my own lab for almost 15 years now. 2. What's the major research theme of your lab and what's one of the most exciting projects that is either ongoing or that you did in the past? When I first started off, my lab continued work I had started during my postdoc, characterizing how blood, especially blood stem cells, develop in the embryo in mouse models. I still love that subject, but I have currently only one PhD student working on that topic. But what I realized at some point was th

ISEH 2021-2022 Board of Directors Election Results

Image
ISEH members* have sent in their votes, and we are pleased to share with you the results of the 2021 Board of Directors elections. The individuals, identified below, will join the ISEH Board of Directors in September 2021. Please join us in congratulating these new and returning members of ISEH Leadership! Marella de Bruijn University of Oxford, United Kingdom Vice President Carl Walkley Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University, Australia Director - Pacific Rim Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Germany Director - Europe/Middle East/Africa Jennifer Trowbridge The Jackson Laboratory, United States of America Director - Americas

Exploring Experimental Hematology: Journal Crossover Series II

Image
In a bid to connect the research being published in  Experimental Hematology  with the wider hematological community, we have begun to identify related pairs of recently published articles from other journals and in this entry, we focus on an article published in the European Hematology Association's journal  HemaSphere. Molecular insight into Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA), and a detection strategy for clinical diagnosis of DBA and other inherited bone marrow failure syndromes Inherited bone marrow failure syndromes (IBMFs) are a group of complex genetic diseases that display comparable major complications such as (pan)cytopenia, bone marrow failure, and increased risks for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although a majority of patients receive proper diagnoses, many patients lack specific syndromic diagnoses in part due to incomplete identification of the underlying etiology of IBMFs. Therefore, further studies into the genetic, molecular, and clin

Message from the President: 2021 Society Updates

Image
Dear Friends and Colleagues, I write this message reflecting upon what was an unprecedented time for hematology and hematology researchers. Looking back on last year, I am truly amazed by how our Society reacted to our member’s experiences with lab shutdowns, socioeconomic upheaval in reaction to political injustice, travel restrictions and economic hardships. This period may compare to the years in which the society was founded (early 1970s), when concerns about nuclear disasters fueled radiation research, hematology and the further development of concepts around hematopoietic stem cell biology. Not only did we come together as a community this last year and implement many new initiatives to support our members, but we re-organized our annual meeting with short notice to adapt to the new virtual reality, and now are forging ahead with a new improved ISEH virtual 2.0 meeting for 2021. In this last year, many of our members have also independently developed new meeting and seminar forum

An Interview with Dr. Derrick Rossi, Co-Founder of Moderna Therapeutics

Image
In 2012, Dr. Rossi was the inaugural New Investigators Invited Speaker at the 41st Annual Scientific Meeting of ISEH. He generously agreed to be interviewed by a member of the New Investigator Committee about his captivating career path and successes in translating discoveries to the clinic. Among Dr. Rossi’s numerous accomplishments, we can list the development of an approach to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) using synthetic modified messenger RNA, which was named by Time magazine as one of the top ten medical breakthroughs of 2010. Dr. Rossi leveraged that technology to found Moderna Therapeutics, which is now a major supplier of vaccines against COVID-19. In 2015, Dr. Rossi co-founded Intellia Therapeutics, a publicly traded Cambridge-based company focused on developing CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutics. In 2016, he co-founded Magenta Therapeutics, which is focused on transforming hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In 2017, he helped launch Convelo Therapeutics,

Exploring Experimental Hematology: January 2021 (Volume 93)

Image
Exploring Experimental Hematology : AMD3100 re-dosing fails to repeatedly mobilize hematopoietic stem cells in the non-human primate and humanized mouse Introduction: In this issue of Simply Blood, we are highlighting and deconstructing one of the journal’s latest manuscripts by first author Clare Samuelson. In a recent study in the laboratory of Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), Samuelson et al. examined the mobilization of hematopoietic stem/ progenitor cells (HSPCs) with repeated doses of AMD3100 (plerixafor). ( Samuelson et al., 2020 ). Stem cell transplantation (SCT), using bone marrow (BM) or mobilized peripheral blood (PB) HSPCs, is a therapy used to cure several cancers, including multiple myeloma, leukemia, lymphomas, and non-malignant hematological diseases. HSPCs are enriched in the PB using a mobilization agent(s), which is a non-invasive procedure compared to a BM harvest and may offer faster hematopoietic reconstitution. AMD3100 (plerixafor) is

Overcoming (the Inevitable) Failures in Science

Image
“I am afraid that the opinion remains that the paper is not a strong candidate for publication…” Rejection. Failure. Almost everyone will experience a mixture of these during one’s lifetime. But for a scientist, this has become the norm of our existence: failed scientific experiments, rejected grants, and scathing remarks from manuscript reviewers. The one thing that is certain in academia, is that you will have many failures; what is not as certain is one’s response to such adversity. I hope this piece can give practical advice on how to overcome ‘failure’ and even potentially change our perspective on what failure is, with an emphasis on what steps young scientists, such as graduate students who are just beginning their journey, can take. Turning your ‘negative’ response into a therapeutic one Our typical response to rejection in science (and most other endeavors) is an initial combination of anger and/or disappointment, that can progress to self-pity, blaming the ‘system’, and depre

Exploring Experimental Hematology: Journal Crossover Series I

Image
In a bid to connect the research being published in Experimental Hematology with the wider hematological community, we have begun to identify related pairs of recently published articles from other journals and in this entry, we focus on an article published in the European Hematology Association's journal HemaSphere. Novel approaches to understanding ALL treatment and subclone diversity Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) results from malignant transformation of lymphoid progenitor cells, and is a blood cancer found predominantly in the pediatric population. Clinical prognosis for children diagnosed with ALL are amongst the best outcomes for all blood cancers, with about 90% of all patients surviving their disease. However, the remaining children who are refractory to therapy or suffer relapse still represent a significant clinical problem due to the high incidence of this disease in the pediatric population. As such, there remains tremendous importance in identifying the molec

ISEH 2021 Award Winners

Image
On behalf of the Awards Committee, ISEH would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2021 ISEH Honorific Awards, which will be presented at the ISEH 50th Annual Scientific Meeting. 2021 Donald Metcalf Award Winner: Tony Green Professor Anthony R. Green is a clinician-scientist and a long-standing member of the hematological community. He contributed multiple landmark papers during his career and shaped the hematological community through leadership roles in international organizations as well as locally in Cambridge, U.K.. Tony started his laboratory in Cambridge, U.K., in 1991 by characterizing the control of key transcription factors, such as SCL. Together with one of his first post-docs, Bertie Goettgens, he identified the first vertebrate hematopoietic stem cell enhancer to be characterized at a molecular level and demonstrated that SCL enhancers are powerful tools for targeting expression to specific cell types during hematopoiesis, vasculogenesis and neurogenesis.  Over the p

How Twitter Continues to Help Your Science and Your Career

Image
Love it or loathe it, having a profile on the internet -- and more specifically on a social media platform -- is becoming an important aspect of many scientific careers. Back in 2018, we covered the importance of joining the ever-growing online scientific community ( http://www.simplyblood.org/2018/02/should-scientists-use-twitter-answer-is.html ). Fast forward three years, and this remains true, not only for those who are just beginning to establish their scientific careers, but also for those who remember a time before the internet or social media existed. The platforms available for your social media presence are increasing and diverse, so navigating which might be useful in a professional setting can be overwhelming. The image below attempts to highlight how each of the major platforms can be used, but the remainder of this post will focus squarely on Twitter:  All the early adopters of Twitter will clearly recognize the power of Twitter for connecting and engaging with fellow sc