Cell Differentiation and Tumorigenesis
Hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow sustain their own maintenance and give rise to “transit amplifying”, lineage committed cells that terminally differentiate into at least 8 different short-lived cell types. Hematopoietic transcription factors concertedly control cell amplification, commitment, and differentiation. Mutations in these key transcription factors dysregulate hematopoiesis and cause diseases such as leukemia, anemia, or immune defects. A major task in experimental hematology, leukemia research, and stem cell research is to untangle the underlying transcription factor network, disclose functional interactions between its components, understand how they regulate genes and chromatin, and thereby reveal novel therapeutic targets.
Major interests of the lab are the function of transcription factors of the CCAAT Enhancer Binding Protein family (C/EBPs), Myb, and Tal1/Scl during gene regulation and chromatin remodeling, and signaling events that mediate transcription factor regulation (C/EBP, Myb, Tal1/Scl, WNT-b,g-catenin/LEF). We use state-of-the-art molecular genetics and targeted mouse genetics to unravel onco-developmental processes connected to these transcription factors.