The goal of our research is to identify critical mechanisms that drive leukemia stem cell (LSC) development and function, and to better understand the mechanisms of how transcriptional regulators (e.g. transcription factors and chromatin-remodeling factors) cause formation of LSC.
To identify implicated pathways we are utilizing rigorously defined stem and progenitor cell subsets isolated by means of multi-parameter high-speed fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Identified target genes are biochemically and functionally tested using lentiviral gene transfer and in vitro as well as in vivo assays for leukemia stem cell self-renewal and differentiation,
including colony-forming assays, serial replating assays, and
transplantation models that allow for assessing their function in LSC formation and maintenance. Our studies aim at providing the basis for development of targeted, LSC-directed therapies.