I have always been interested in the process of blood production therefore I decided to apply for a PhD position in Dr David Kent’s research Group. Our Team explores the biology of haematopoietic stem cells and focuses on the molecular mechanisms of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. In my PhD project I will study the signalling pathways governing haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) fate.
Blood cells are produced from HSCs in a process called haematopoiesis. At each cell division HSCs give rise to daughter progenitor cells (non-HSCs) or create new HSCs through a process known as self-renewal. However, HSCs are a highly heterogenous population and the different molecular properties of individual HSCs, such as those controlling self-renewal capacity or cell cycle status, can affect their eventual fate. The main aim of my project is to define the molecular networks underpinning distinct HSC cellular states. My studies will involve transcriptome, proteome, and DNA methylome analyses aiming to map and characterise these cell regulatory changes. I hope that my research will help in the identification of new mechanistic understanding of HSCs and their progeny, allowing us to better characterise the development and ageing of the blood system.