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Sarah Rothschild, Ph.D.

Massey Cancer Center research program membership

Cancer Molecular Genetics

Department affiliations

Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences, Center for Life Sciences Education


PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University (2010)

Research description

The Rothschild lab uses zebrafish to model acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloidleukemia (AML), as well as study hematopoietic stem cell specification. Our ALL model is generated by targeting expression of human constitutively active type 2 Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMKII) in lymphoid cells of tp53 mutant fish. In this model, B cell hyperplasia in the kidney marrow and spleen progresses to overt leukemia/lymphoma, with only 29% of zebrafish surviving the first year of life. This work received favorable reviews from Oncogene and the resubmitted manuscript is currently under review. Our AML model is generated by targeting expression of human MLL-ENL to the myeloid lineage using the lysozyme-C promoter. We found increased proliferation of MLL-ENL positive cells, similar to other AML models in zebrafish. Co-treatment with Venetoclax and Flavopiridol inhibited expansion of MLL-ENL positive cells in this model. We are also interested in the role of calcium signaling in HSC specification since understanding how HSCs are specified can inform how to generate HSCs from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

Disease focus of research

Hematologic Malignancies

Published research (during tenure as a Massey Cancer Center member)

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Contact information


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