Normal and Malignant Hematopoiesis Research Affinity Group

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The processes that program blood stem cells to develop are regulated by networks of genes and proteins that signal maturation into particular kinds of blood cells. The many factors that control these processes include epigenetic changes that direct genes to be transcribed into RNA, post-transcriptional processing of the RNA, cell signaling networks that direct translation of mRNAs into proteins and subsequent changes to the proteins. The complex interplay between these factors regulates the balance of growth, maturation, survival and death of cells in the hematopoietic system.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a dynamic program in hematopoiesis research that focuses on these processes in normal and diseased states including hematological malignancies and non-malignant hematological conditions. Supporting these initiatives is the Normal and Malignant Hematopoeisis Research Affinity Group, the overall aim of which is to address problems in these processes in order to develop more effective treatments and targeted prevention for the protean forms of disordered hematopoiesis that cause leukemia, lymphoma, lymphoproliferative diseases and other non-malignant hematological conditions in infants and children.

A charter RAG, this self-initiated, cross-disciplinary group was established in 2003 and aims to bring together an ever-expanding web of clinical, translational, and basic investigators in order to facilitate progress in broad, overlapping areas of hematopoiesis research. Current research in the affinity group involves deciphering which elements in these processes can be targeted for new treatments and, ultimately, for preventing diseases of the hematopoietic system.

This avenue to combining expertise in specific areas from new interchanges beyond the clinic and the individual laboratory will speed CHOP's advances in promoting bench-to-bedside research.