My lab is interested in developing cellular therapeutics and understanding the molecular mechanisms of hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis. We are currently developing a Wharton’s Jelly mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (WJ-MSC)-based cellular therapeutic to treat septic shock. Wharton’s Jelly is the connective tissue surrounding the vessels of the umbilical cord and is a highly enriched source of robust MSCs. We are using an humanized animal model to collect preclinical data to translate this cellular therapeutic to the clinic.
In collaboration with the Drs. Bill Stanford and Mitchell Sabloff at OHRI/TOH, we are analyzing bone marrow samples from healthy donors and those diagnosed with leukemia to identify epigenetic regulators that function in normal hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis. We are testing the capacity of the differentially regulated epigenetic proteins to regulate hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis in gain of function and loss of function experiments using umbilical cord blood hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.