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'Functional and molecular heterogeneity within the human haematopoietic stem cell compartment'

'Functional and molecular heterogeneity within the human haematopoietic stem cell compartment'

Event Date
12 October 2017 - 12:00 to 13:00
SCRM Seminar Room
Speaker Name
Dr Elisa Laurenti
Speaker Organisation
Wellcome Trust - MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, UK

My career so far has been dedicated to the study of the very first steps of haematopoiesis both in mouse and human.

My PhD experience (2004-2008) focused on the study of murine haematopoietic stem cells (HSC) under the supervision of Prof. Andreas Trumpp, at the Swiss Institute for Cancer Research. I used classical mouse genetics to demonstrate that Myc activity maintains most aspects of HSC biology in a context-dependent manner (Laurenti et al., Cell Stem Cell, 2008), identified a deeply dormant HSC population, which is activated in response to injury cues (Wilson, Laurenti et al., Cell, 2008)

During my post-doctoral training in Dr John Dick's laboratory (University Health Network, Toronto, Canada, 2010-2014), I established novel in vitro single cell and in vivo assays to study the function of the earliest lymphoid progenitors (Laurenti et al., Nat Immun, 2013) and of the purest human HSC population described so far (Notta, Doulatov, Laurenti et al., Science, 2011). I generated a comprehensive transcriptional resource by profiling gene expression of ten human stem and progenitor cell types, to an unprecedented level of resolution (Laurenti et al., Nat Immun, 2013). From this dataset we uncovered novel molecular circuits that drive HSC commitment to the lymphoid lineage (Laurenti et al., Nat Immun, 2013; Van Galen et al.; Cell Stem Cell, 2013). Based on my interest on how quiescence is regulated stemming from my PhD, I recently provided the first mechanistic insights into how exit from quiescence is distinctly regulated within the human HSC pool (Laurenti et al., Cell Stem Cell, 2015).

I have started my own laboratory at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute in September 2014. We combine single-cell transcriptomics with single cell functional assays, and develop a number of computational analyses tools (Nestorowa et al., Blood, 2016) to characterise human HSC heterogeneity. Our goal is to understand how the molecular networks and functional properties of human HSC are maintained in healthy and diseased conditions.