Investigate blood stem cell fate
The research in Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid’s lab focuses on the molecular and functional properties of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). This rare cell type is the foundation of the blood system and gives rise to every cell type found in the blood, including all kinds of leukocytes for fighting off pathogens and erythrocytes for transferring oxygen to tissues. In her lab, Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid combines various technologies such as metabolomics and epigenomics with in vivo and in vitro functional approaches to investigate the mechanisms governing stem cell and progenitor cell fate.
Of particular interest for Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid is the unique lifelong potential of HSCs to supply the blood system with fresh blood cells. “These exceptional capabilities are protected by a very deep state of quiescence, in which HSCs remain if they are not needed. We want to understand the regulatory networks involved in maintaining hematopoietic stem cell dormancy and, as an ultimate goal, translate our findings to targeted therapies for human diseases such as cancer”, says Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid.