Molecular Hematology

Faculty of Medicine | Lund University


Stem Cells and Leukemia

The production of blood cells, hematopoiesis, is maintained by a small number of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that have the capacity to differentiate into all hematopoietic lineages, and at the same time self-renew to maintain the HSC pool. These properties make HSCs essential for maintaining hematopoietic homeostasis and for reconstitution of patients during treatment of hematological disorders and malignant diseases.

Similarly to normal hematopoiesis, leukemias are organized in cellular hierarchies where leukemic stem cells (LSCs) drive the tumor growth. LSCs have stem cell characteristics such as self-renewal capacity, quiescence and drug resistance, causing metastasis and relapse. LSCs are therefore a critical priority as targets for therapy.

The objective of our research is to molecularly dissect known stem cell populations in order to discriminate between normal and malignant stem cells. This will allow for defining the transcriptional programs that govern HSC fate and explain the molecular basis for leukemogenesis. Ultimately we will use this information to therapeutically target LSCs and thereby improve the treatment of leukemia.

lucris karlsson group
The aim of the group is to use single-cell methods and epigenetics to define the heterogeneity within stem cell populations, how this heterogeneity is established, and why certain leukemic stem cells survive therapy. Illustration: Rebecca Warfvinge


Rebecca Warfvinge speaking at ESH 2017 

rebecca esh2017
Rebecca Warfvinge giving her presentation "Single-cell molecular analysis defines therapy response and immunophenotype of stem cell subpopulations in CML" at the 19th Annual John Goldman Conference on Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: Biology and Therapy in Estoril, Portugal, on October 12, 2017. Photo: Göran Karlsson


goeran karlsson

Göran Karlsson, PhD
Assistant Professor

Director of the StemTherapy Fluidigm Core Facility

Division of Molecular Hematology
BMC B12, room B1212b
SE-221 84 Lund, Sweden

Phone: +46 46 222 12 61


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