Showing posts from 2023

What I Have Learned in My First 3.5 Years as Principal Investigator

What I Have Learned in My First 3.5 Years as Principal Investigator I am a physician scientist at Boston Children’s Hospital. Our lab studies the changes that occur in blood formation across the lifespan and how this impacts age-biased blood diseases – this work is strongly driven by my perspective as a pediatric hematologist. In this post, I share some of the lessons that I have learned over the first 3+ years as a PI. This advice is not one-size-fits-all – you can take it or leave it, and I am sure everyone’s situation is different in one way or another. You must spend money to make money. When you start a lab, your institution may provide you with startup funds. What funding you receive is variable and open to negotiation. This funding is crucial to support your pet projects that are not externally funded, fill gaps in salary support, and in many cases, to support your own salary. Early on, I was overly protective of my startup., then I realized that the point of this money is

ISEH 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting – Highlights from the New Investigators Committee

The 52nd ISEH Annual Scientific Meeting took place at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge from 17-20 August 2023. Our Annual Scientific Meeting brought together more than 540 scientists and ISEH members from 25 different countries from around the world. This meeting in New York City was planned for 2020, but it had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 emergency. After three years, we finally got to roll our suitcases down the streets of NYC, which is a fantastic playground for networking. We were extremely happy and grateful to bring the community together again! The Science The meeting included many events that were targeted to a broad audience of scientists at various stages of their careers (from trainees to PIs). We had 31 invited speakers, 26 short talk presenters, 15 featured poster presentations and 217 poster presentations. The scientific sessions covered a wide range of topics from the molecular mechanisms of developmental and adult hematopoiesis, the role of the micro

Living Medicine – lessons for the experimental hematologist

As a clinical hematologist, the publication of Living Medicine - a history of the development of bone marrow transplantation in humans - was required reading. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Dr. Appelbaum carefully reviews the history of the fundamental basic science of hematopoietic stem cells, the understanding of which forms a required basis for clinical transplantation. From the perspective of an experimental hematologist, it was fascinating to learn how the pioneers of clinical transplantation leveraged fundamental science done in mice into translational studies and iterative clinical trials to progressively develop, improve, and optimize allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Laboratory based research was vital in the iterative trials that moved bone marrow transplantation from a high-risk intervention for patients with no other options to now a much safer front-line therapy for many blood diseases. Although Dr. Appelbaum justifiably emphasizes the foundatio

Lab Spotlight: Laurenti Lab

The Laurenti Lab, at Wellcome Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, UK Each month, Simply Blood spotlights a lab contributing to the fields of hematology, immunology, stem cell research, cell and gene therapies, and more. Get to know groups doing cutting edge research from around the world! This month, we are featuring the Laurenti Lab which is based out of the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, at the University of Cambridge in the UK ( ). How long have you had your lab? And how many members make up your lab? I have started my group in September 2014, and currently our group is composed of seven people. Three postdocs, two PhD students and one research assistant, in addition to several students shared between our group and other research groups including; one bioinformatician and two postdocs. What is the major research theme of your lab? Our lab is interested in deciphering human haematopoiesis across the lifetime, ideally at single

Lessons from Two Physician Scientists: Navigating the Transition to Independence

Lessons from Two Physician Scientists: Navigating the Transition to Independence Transitioning from a postdoctoral position to independence is a complex undertaking that requires careful planning and the support of mentors and mentees alike. While some researchers have experienced a smooth transition, for others, it has been more challenging. In order to gain insight into effectively managing the numerous issues that arise during this period, we turned to Drs. Ross Levine and Aaron Viny, who recently engaged in a webinar discussion with us on their relationship as mentor-mentee and their own experiences transitioning to independence. Dr. Ross Levine, having completed his MD at Johns Hopkins University, pursued hematology/oncology fellowship and residency at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute before joining Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City to establish his own lab. Dr. Viny, a physician scientist, earned his MD at Case Western Reserve University, followed by an internal medicine

Setting up a new lab and managing expectations- “Lab-o-poiesis” ala Tina Termini and “A Cynic’s Guide to Starting Up a Lab” by Adrian Liston

Setting up a new lab and managing expectations- “Lab-o-poiesis” ala Tina Termini and “A Cynic’s Guide to Starting Up a Lab” by Adrian Liston Starting your independent lab is an exciting time in your career, but it also brings many challenges, including moving to a new institution, managing administrative duties, hiring staff, and balancing new responsibilities all while continuing to advance your science.  In the April 2023 Junior Faculty Committee-sponsored webinar, both Dr. Christina Termini, a first-year Principal Investigator (PI) at the Fred Hutch Cancer Center in Seattle, WA, USA, and Prof. Adrian Liston, a senior PI who has led labs at Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie in Belgium, the Babraham Institute in the UK, and now at the University of Cambridge, outlined the challenges faced at different stages of their journeys as independent researchers and how they navigated these.  Importantly, several common themes emerged with some important take-home messages that can help you

Thank You 2023 Sponsors and Exhibitors!

  Thank You Sponsors & Exhibitors The 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Experimental Hematology meeting is taking place now in New York City, United States. 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 2023 sponsors and exhibitors, seen below. We hope to see you all again in 2024! Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by R13HL170705 from the  National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) . The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Lab Spotlight: Helgason Lab

Lab Spotlight Vignir Helgason, School of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow 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 Helgasson Lab at the School of Cancer Sciences at the University of Glasgow! What is the research focus of your lab? My lab focuses on basic cellular processes such as autophagy and metabolism in leukaemia. We are trying to exploit vulnerabilities in these processes and identify ways to develops better treatment options. Did you plan your career and how did it develop? No, to be honest, I never really had a master plan for my career. However, I was always good in seeking advice from people who could help me achieve my goals. During my studies at the University of Iceland, deCODE Genetics, a biopharmaceutical company based in Reykjavik, was founded, and offer

ISEH 2023 Virtual Career Fair

Finding the postdoc position that best fits the next step in your career can be a challenge. To help put great trainees in touch with great faculty providing postdoc opportunities, the ISEH New Investigator Committee has put together the ISEH 2023 Virtual Career Fair . This live and interactive career fair will be held on Tuesday, 18 April 2023 from 15:00-17:00 CDT ( click here to see in your time zone ). This event is FREE for all PhD students and postdocs ! You do not need to be an ISEH member. Click here to register .  What is it? Participants will be sent a link to an online networking platform. This places you inside a virtual room, with each hiring PI seated at their own table. You can join a table to talk with the PI and other trainees there. This provides the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself, why you are interested in a position in their laboratory, and how you could be a good fit in their team. You will be free to move to other tables throughout the duration of the ev

ISEH 2023 Scientific Award Winners

On behalf of the Awards Committee, ISEH would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2023 ISEH Society Scientific Awards, which will be presented at the ISEH 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting . Donald Metcalf Award Winner – Margaret (“Peggy”) A. Goodell This year, the 2023 Donald Metcalf Award goes to Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Goodell, who currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, the Vivian L. Smith Chair of Regenerative Medicine, directs and founded the Stem Cells and Regenerative (STaR) Center, and serves as a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Molecular and Human Genetics, Pediatrics, and Pathology and Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Goodell has served as a faculty member at Baylor completing her doctoral training at the University of Cambridge with Andrew Smith and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Whitehead Institute at MIT and Harvard Medical School, under the guidance of Richard C. Mulligan. She was elected to the

How we can improve diversity in our research by understanding intersectionality with A/Prof Nada Hamad

In undertaking our research, we seek to develop theories and models to help us better understand haematopoiesis and blood related disorders. What is overwhelmingly clear and supported by extensive data is that our research can be improved by increasing both inclusivity and diversity in our workforce 1,2 . When scientists come from diverse backgrounds, they bring with them different experiences, perspectives, and ways of thinking that enrich scientific research. For example, a diverse group of scientists might approach a problem from different angles, or ask different questions, leading to a more comprehensive understanding of the subject. To help us understand more about inclusion and diversity in our own research, the ISEH Junior Faculty Committee asked A/Prof Nada Hamad to help explain the concept of intersectionality. Dr Hamad began the webinar but outlining her personal journey and in particular an event from around 10 years ago for when she had her first child. During labour she w