Over 600 million blood cells are made every day! These cells play many important roles - from carrying oxygen to all parts of our body, to fighting off infections and keeping us healthy. Our blood cells develop from hematopoietic stem cells in a process called hematopoiesis. Remarkably, stem cell activity changes throughout life to meet age-specific demands. However, inappropriate activation of stem cell function enables blood disorders and cancers. Therefore, it is important to understand (1) How are blood cells made? and (2) How does this process change throughout life? We tackle these questions from multiple angles - by using a variety of cutting-edge experimental approaches to focus on specific molecules and to analyze global changes to the blood. With this information we have made breakthroughs in understanding how stem cells make decisions to become blood cells during development, adulthood, and aging. Ultimately, our goal is to understand how hematopoietic stem cell function in different stages of life. A better understanding of these mechanisms offers enormous potential to yield new regenerative medicine and improve existing therapies for both genetic and acquired disorders of the hematopoietic system. In this talk, we will share some of our exciting discoveries of how stem cells are established during early fetal development. We will also discuss striking changes to stem cell properties as they age. Finally, we want to share with you how we hope to capitalize on these discoveries to improve stem cell therapies.
Speakers: Atesh Worthington & Donna Poscablo, UC Santa Cruz
Ages 21 +
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