Erich Damm, Ph.D.
Massey Cancer Center research program membership
Cancer Molecular Genetics
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, College of Humanities and Sciences
PhD, University of Toronto, Canada (2014)
Our work has identified that sympathoadrenal precursor cells, which are neural crest derivatives, provide inductive signals required for the specification of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during embryonic development. A major biomedical objective is the generation of HSCs from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) to alleviate challenges such as low numbers of immunologically compatible and genetically modifiable HSCs for transplant, which currently obstructs curative therapy for hematologic malignancies and genetic disorders. To date, it has not been possible to generate bonafide HSCs using current protocols. A potential means for generating HSCs from PSCs in vitro is to recapitulate the in vivo specification environment in vitro. To identify requisite neural crest derived inductive signals, we have performed a transcriptional profiling screen which has generated hits for potential candidate molecules, which we are currently characterizing. The goal of our work is to inform efforts aimed at generating HSCs in vitro to improve access to potentially curative therapies for hematologic malignancies and genetic disorders.
Disease focus of research
,Animal models,Tumor suppressors
Published research (during tenure as a Massey Cancer Center member)
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