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Wellcome - MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

 

  Dr Ana Cvejic

  Haematopoietic stem cells

  Email: as889@cam.ac.uk 

  Laboratory: Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre

                           Departmental Affiliation: Haematology

 

 

Biography

In 2008 Ana received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Bristol. She then moved to University of Cambridge/Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to start a Postdoctoral Fellowship, with Professor Willem Ouwehand. Over the next three and a half years, Ana independently established haematopoiesis research using the zebrafish model at the Sanger Institute. In 2012 Ana was awarded the CRUK Career Development Fellowship to perform functional characterisation of genes implicated in blood formation using zebrafish as an in vivomodel. In 2015 Ana was awarded ERC Starting Grant and in 2016 EMBO Young Investigator Award.

Ana is currently Principal Investigator at the Department of Haematology, University of Cambridge and an Honorary Faculty member at the Sanger Institute.

The lab is currently recruiting for two postdoc positions for more information please see here

 

Funding

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) , José Carreras Foundation, European Research Council (ERC), European Hematology Association, MRC

 

External Links

http://www.haem.cam.ac.uk/staff/senior-staff/dr-ana-cvejic/ 

                                                                                                                                    

We generated a detailed transcriptional and chromatin accessibility map of foetal liver and bone marrow haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Within HSCs, we revealed extensive epigenetic but not transcriptional priming. We identified transcriptional and functional differences between HSC from liver and bone marrow.

 

Research

Blood stem cells need to both perpetuate (self-renew) themselves and differentiate into all mature blood cells to maintain blood formation throughout life. Clarifying how haemopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) differentiate into diverse cell types is important for understanding how this process is subverted in the generation of blood pathologies.

The aim of our group is to decipher how differentiation pathways of HSPCs are influenced by different microenvironments. To achieve that we use state-of-the-art single-cell RNA-seq data generation combined with computational analysis to establish principles of blood lineage differentiation. In particularly we are focusing on the dissection of the heterogeneity of cellular states in the blood system. Our research involves the use of both model organism (zebrafish, Danio rerio) and human samples. Currently, we are working with human foetal haematopoietic cells to reveal the dynamics and cellular programmes active during human blood development as well as lung cancer patient samples to investigating the influence of tumour microenvironment in the context of pathological differentiation of myeloid progenitors.

The results from our studies will advance our understanding of how normal fate decisions are instigated and provide clues for the design of novel therapies for blood pathologies.

 

Group Members

Brynelle Myers, Michael Nelson, Elisa Panada, Simone Giovanni Riva, Jiarui (Henry) Xu

 

Plain English

A single cell type, the haematopoietic stem cell (HSC), is responsible for generating all blood cells throughout the lifetime of an organism. The HSC is a rare cell that resides primarily in the bone marrow of adult mammals. It has the ability to either self-renew, and generate more stem cells or differentiate and generate over 10 different blood cell types. These different blood cells provide functions such as protection against infections, oxygen transport and maintaining haemostasis. Thus, over time each HSC makes essential fate decisions by integrating a wide array of signals from the microenvironment and completing complex changes in the regulation of gene expression. Clarifying how HSCs differentiate into diverse cell types is important for understanding how they attain their various functions and offers the potential for therapeutic manipulation.  

 

Key Publications