St. Jude on Hematology: 5 Discoveries to Explore

St. Jude on Hematology

Explore some of the discoveries chronicled in the series St. Jude on Hematology.

Senthil Bhoopalan, MBBS, PhD, walks through 5 Discoveries to Explore about Hematology.


Hi, I’m Dr. Senthil Bhoopalan from the Department of Hematology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and here are 5 Discoveries to Explore about Hematology.

Discovery One

Stem cells are unique because they undergo self-renewal. When a stem cell divides it can split into two stem cells, a stem cell and a more differentiated cell or two differentiated cells. Dr. Dirk Loeffler is studying how a stem cell knows what cell type to become and the factors that influence this stem cell identity.

Find out more: Understanding cancer thanks to the boundless potential of stem cells.

Discovery Two

Stem cells are influenced by the environment in which they grow. At St. Jude Dr. Marta Derecka is studying the interplay between stem cells and the bone marrow microenvironment, looking at the transcription factors that regulate how the environment functions and, in disease, can contribute to treatment resistance or immune suppression.

Find out more: Like seed and soil: the interplay between cells and their environment affects health.

Discovery Three

A class of conditions called bone marrow failure syndromes can be a precursor to cancer if not properly diagnosed. Dr. Marcin Wlodarski is an expert in bone marrow failure. His laboratory studies the genetics of these disorders and defined the contributions of SAMD9/SAMD9L mutations to bone marrow failure.

Find out more: Tailoring treatment for bone marrow failure syndromes.

Discovery Four

When a disease is caused by a single genetic mutation, it is possible to fix the mutation and cure the disease using gene editing.  At St. Jude, scientists led by Dr. Mitch Weiss, have studied multiple gene editing approaches to treat and cure sickle cell disease, including Cas9 nucleases, base editing and prime editing. 

Find out more: Gene editing holds the promise of a sickle cell cure.

Discovery Five

St. Jude has launched a new initiative, the partnership to advance development of individualized genomic medicines, or PARADIGM. Through PARADIGM we will directly address blood disorders caused by rare genetic mutations to create bespoke gene therapies. 

Find out more: Shifting the PARADIGM towards individualized gene editing therapies.

About the author

Senthil Bhoopalan, MBBS, PhD, is an Instructor in the St. Jude Department of Hematology. View full bio.

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