Our Research (under construction)

Long-term hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSCs) are a rare population of cells that reside in the bone marrow niche and are at the apex of hematopoietic hierarchy. Like many other tissue-specific stem cells, LT-HSCs largely remain in quiescence at steady state to maintain their self-renewal potential. However, in response to emergencies such as infection or bleeding, HSCs increase their proliferation and differentiate to generate mature blood cells. The self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation of HSC is tightly regulated to sustain life-long blood production. Imbalance of HSC quiescence, proliferation and differentiation can lead to hematopoietic failure or malignancies. Besides, self-renewing LT-HSCs regenerate the adult blood systems after transplantation, which is a curative therapy for many diseases including hematologic malignancies, immunodeficiency, and autoimmune diseases. Thus, understanding the mechanisms that control HSC functions to improve HSC reconstitution capacity after ex vivo expansion has broad implications. Research in our laboratory is investigating many different aspects of HSC regulation including cytokine signaling, protein homeostasis, cellular metabolism and epigenetic regulation. In addition, we are studying how these signaling mechanisms are hijacked by oncogenic mutations during leukemic stem cell transformation, to identify novel therapeutic targets to eliminate leukemic stem cells.