Regions of Hematopoietic Development in Zebrafish Embryo.

Developing myeloid cells (in red) and erythroid cells (in black) in a 24 hour old embryo. This image shows a side view, with the head of the embryo to the left.

Circulating blood cells in zebra fish embryo

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Research Overview

Our laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying hematopoietic cell development and transformation. It is common for cancers of hematopoietic origin to have clonal chromosomal deletions, which are thought to contribute to disease pathogenesis by deleting one or more tumor suppressor genes. However, the deleted regions are often very large making it difficult to identify the critical gene or genes. There is a growing body of evidence that genes required for normal development can also regulate transformation, and we hypothesize that genes located in critically deleted regions in leukemia may be necessary for hematopoietic development. Our laboratory uses the power of zebrafish genetics to identify genes that are essential for normal blood cell development and then examines if they are involved in the etiology of cancer. Currently, we are exploring three interrelated areas of interest:

  • Hematopoietic gene discovery using insertional mutagenesis
  • Hematopoietic transformation in zebrafish based on paradigms of human leukemia
  • TransgenicĀ¬ tools for understanding stem cell differentiation
  • For more research information, see Jennifer Rhodes' Principal Investigator Page

blood cell development

click to enlarge image of blood cell deveopment