Sidinh Luc group - Properties of blood stem cells and their regulation

The blood system is maintained and replenished by rare blood stem cells throughout life. Until recently, the blood stem cell population was considered to be functionally uniform, but new findings suggest the presence of different stem cell subsets that are biased in their contribution to individual blood lineages.

The functional importance of having different types of blood stem cells is not well understood and the mechanisms that regulate them have not been well characterized. Our research program primarily focuses on hematopoietic stem cells in normal development. Detailed knowledge of blood formation and the different stem cell types will increase our fundamental understanding of how hematologic diseases may develop and how they may be treated.

About our research

To better understand the role of different types of blood stem cells (hematopoietic stem cells, HSCs) in the hematopoietic system, we are studying the molecular, behavioral and functional differences of distinct types of HSCs throughout development. These studies employ a combination of genetic labelling tools, advanced flow cytometry and sequencing techniques.

To understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate different types of HSCs we have focused on exploring the epigenetic processes that are important in HSC bias and lineage commitment. Using advanced molecular biology tools and genome editing techniques, as well as genetically modified mouse models we are aiming to identify the critical epigenetic factors determining the functional properties of the HSC subsets.

The long-term goal of our studies is to discover novel factors and associated pathways that are important in development of hematologic diseases and ultimately be of therapeutic and prognostic value.

Group leader

Sidinh Luc

Ph.D., Assistant Professor
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Sidinh Luc was recruited to Karolinska Institutet in 2017. Her graduate studies were done at Lund University, Sweden and University of Oxford, UK. She received a Ph.D. degree in Stem Cell Biology from Lund University, Sweden in 2011. After Graduate School she continued her research studies as a Postdoctoral fellow at the Boston Children’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School in Boston (2011-2016), before returning to Sweden to start her own research group.

Sidinh Luc about blood stem cells and hematologic diseases

Group members


Anne-Sofie Johansson

Senior research specialist
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Anne-Sofie Johansson joined HERM in 2014, and the Sidinh Luc group in 2017.

Anne-Sofie received her PhD in 2007 from Karolinska Institutet for her work on effects of ethanol on inflammation and cell functions. After her PhD she did a postdoc at the Department of Neuroscience at KI, where she gained experience about the circadian rhythms and the circadian molecular clock and how they may be altered in disease.

Tsu-Yi Su

PhD student
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Franca joined the Luc Lab in 2021 as a PhD student. She received her Master of Science degree in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2017 and is now studying the epigenetic regulation of HSCs in aging and lineage bias.

Former group members

  • Yiwei Ai, pre-PhD student
  • Hugo Brouwer, Master student
  • Sanchari Choudhury, Master student
  • Özge Dumral, Research Assistant
  • Aurora Forlani, Master student
  • Prajakta Khalkar, Postdoc
  • Katarina Lyberg, Postdoc
  • Lisanne Schoutens, Master student
  • Ece Somuncular, PhD student
  • Christine Trautmann, B.Sc., Master student
  • Efthymios Tzortzis, Master student
  • Gizem Öztürk, Summer student

Research support

  • The Knut och Alice Wallenberg Foundation (Knut och Alice Wallenbergs stiftelse)
  • The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet)
  • Dr Åke Olsson foundation
  • Åke Wiberg foundation
  • The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation (Barncancerfonden)
  • Strategic Research Area Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (Junior Grant)
  • The Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden)
  • European Hematology Association

Selected publications

Link to all publications on PubMed

  1. CD49b identifies functionally and epigenetically distinct subsets of lineage-biased hematopoietic stem cells
    Somuncular E, Hauenstein J, Khalkar P, Johansson A, Dumral Ö, Frengen NS, Gustafsson C, Mocci G, Su T-Y , Brouwer H, Trautmann C L, Vanlandewijck M, Orkin S H, Månsson R, Luc S. Stem Cell Reports. 2022 Jul 12;17(7):1546-1560.

  2. FOXO Dictates Initiation of B Cell Development and Myeloid Restriction in Common Lymphoid Progenitors
    Peña-Pérez L, Kharazi S, Frengen N, Krstic A, Bouderlique T, Hauenstein J, He M, Somuncular E, Li Wang X, Dahlberg C, Gustafsson C, Johansson A-S, Walfridsson J, Kadri N, Woll P, Kierczak M, Qian H, Westerberg L, Luc S and Månsson R. Front Immunol. 2022 May 4. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.880668.
  3. Strict in vivo specificity of the Bcl11a erythroid enhancer.
    Smith EC, Luc S, Croney DM, Woodworth MB, Greig LC, Fujiwara Y, Nguyen M, Sher F, Macklis JD, Bauer DE, Orkin SH. Blood 2016:blood-2016-08-736249. doi:10.1182/blood-2016-08-736249
  4. Initial seeding of the embryonic thymus by immune-restricted lympho-myeloid progenitors
    Luis TC11, Luc S1, Mizukami T, Boukarabila H, Thongjuea S, Woll PS, Azzoni E, Giustacchini A, Lutteropp M, Bouriez-Jones T, Vaidya H, Mead AJ, Atkinson Deborah, Böiers C, Carrelha J, Macaulay IC, Patient R, Geissmann F, Nerlov C, Sandberg R, de Bruijn MFTR, Blackburn CC, Godin I, Jacobsen SEW. Nat Immunol. 2016 Oct 3. doi: 10.1038/ni.3576. 1Equal contribution
  5. Bcl11a Deficiency Leads to Hematopoietic Stem Cell Defects with an Aging-like Phenotype.
    Luc S, Huang J, McEldoon JL, Somuncular E, Li D, Rhodes, C, Mamoor S, Hou S, Xu J, Orkin SH. Cell Reports. 2016 Sep 20;16(12):3181-94. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.08.064
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