Gottgens headshot

Professor Bertie Göttgens

Network control of normal and leukaemic blood stem cells


Laboratory Location:

Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Cambridge Biomedical Campus

Departmental Affiliation:

 Department of Haematology


Bertie Göttgens graduated from Tübingen University in 1992 with a degree in biochemistry.  He received his DPhil in biological sciences from the University of Oxford in 1994 and then proceeded to a post-doc position in the Department of Haematology, University of Cambridge, between 1994-2001.  

Between 2002-2007 he was a Leukaemia Research Fund Lecturer in the Department of Haematology, Cambridge. He was then a University Lecturer, and subsequently a Reader in Haematology, between 2007-2011.

Since October 2011, Bertie has been Professor of Molecular Haematology, University of Cambridge.


MRC, Wellcome Trust, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, BBSRC, Cancer Research UK

External links

Gottgens research image 2-1ratio
Blood is one of the earliest tissues to develop from embryonic mesoderm.  Researchers in the Gottgens group investigate transcriptional mechanisms that mediate cell type diversification during blood development. (Credit Göttgens B. EMBO J. (2015) 34(6):691-693) 


The Göttgens group uses a combination of experimental and computational approaches to study how transcription factor networks control the function of blood stem cells and how mutations that perturb such networks cause leukaemia. This integrated approach has resulted in the discovery of new combinatorial interactions between key blood stem cell regulators, as well as experimentally validated computational models for blood stem cells. Current research focuses on (i) single cell genomics of early blood development, (ii) computer models to chart the transcriptional landscape of blood stem and progenitor cell differentiation, (iii) transcriptional consequences of leukaemogenic mutations in leukaemia stem/progenitor cells, and (iv) molecular characterisation of human blood stem/progenitor cell populations used in cell and gene therapy protocols. 

Gottgens group 2-1ratio

Silvia Basilico

Fernando Calero

Fiona Hamey

Rebecca Hannah

Wajid Jawaid

Isabel Jimenez

Sarah Kinston

Vasilis Ladopoulos

Winnie Lau

Chee Lim

Vicki Moignard

Sonia Nestorowa

Moosa Qureshi

Xiaonan Wang

Nicola Wilson

Plain English

Blood stem cells ensure the constant supply of new blood cells throughout a person’s lifetime. The normal function of blood stem cells critically depends on the fine tuning of which genes should be active at any given time. Moreover, a large number of leukaemias arise, when this fine balance of gene activities is disturbed. Through our research, we want to answer the following questions:

• What are the mechanisms that regulate gene activities to ensure normal blood stem cell function?

• Can we identify new strategies to treat leukaemia by reversing the disturbed balance of gene activities?

To answer these questions, we use a combination of experimental and computational approaches. This has allowed us to discover how individual regulatory genes are connected to form complex networks. Future work will investigate how perturbation of these complex networks can cause leukaemia.

Key Publications

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