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Blood Stem Cell Clonality and the Niche

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm


Leonard Zon, M.D.
HHMI Investigator
Grousbeck Professor of Pediatric Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Director, Stem Cell Program at Boston Children's Hospital
Harvard Medical School


Research in the Zon lab focuses on the developmental biology of hematopoiesis and cancer. Over the past five years, they have collected over 30 mutants affecting the hematopoietic system. Some of the mutants represent excellent animal models of human disease. For instance, the isolation of the ferroportin iron transporter was based on a mutant zebrafish and subsequently was shown to be mutated in patients with iron overload disorders. The mutants also represent interesting key regulatory steps in the development of stem cells. Recently, a mutant was found that lacked blood stem cells and the mutated gene proved to be a caudal related homeoprotein called, CDX4. A Cdx-hox pathway was found to participate in early hematopoietic stem cell development and overexpression of CDX4 leads to ectopic blood development, within the zebrafish embryo and in mouse embryonic stem cells. We recently have developed hematopoietic cell transplantation for the zebrafish using blood cells labeled with green fluorescent protein and DSred. Zon lab researchers were able to image the hematopoietic cells as they migrate to the marrow and to the thymus.

The page was last updated on Friday, September 17, 2021 - 4:10pm