Sten Eirik W. Jacobsen Lab (Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology Group)

The group's focus is to unravel normal and malignant hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell biology at the single cell level. The research group aims to understand how normal blood cell formation from stem cells in the bone marrow is organized and regulated and on how normal stem cells are transformed into malignant stem cells.

A group of people.
Sten Eirik W. Jacobsen's research group. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman

About our research

Our research is focused at understanding how normal blood cell formation from stem cells in the bone marrow is organized and regulated to ensure replenishment of millions of blood cells per second, and on how normal stem cells upon acquisition of oncogenic mutations are transformed into malignant stem cells. The Jacobsen Group has demonstrated that the bone marrow contains different normal blood forming stem cells with different functions. We have also identified and characterized the cancer stem cells in different blood malignancies and demonstrated that these are resistant to different types of standard treatments and responsible for the relapse of the disease after otherwise successful therapy.

The goal of The Jacobsen Group’s research program is to identify new and more efficient therapies. We do that in part through stimulation of normal stem cells to enhance normal blood cell replenishment in patients in who blood formation is defective. In part it's also by developing treatments that more specifically target and eliminate the cancer stem cells towards curative treatments in blood cell malignancies.

The Jacobsen Group’s research program is in part pursued at the Haematopoietic Stem Cell Biology Laboratory, MRC Molecular Haematolgy Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Current research focus

The current research focus of the Jacobsen Group is to apply different genetic tools and functional, as well as molecular single cell analysis. The aim is to unravel the dynamics of stem and progenitor cells in unperturbed hematopoiesis, as well as in response to distinct challenges, in mice and normal human subjects. We also study in patients and model in mice the impact of recurrent genetic lesions at distinct stages of hematopoietic lineage commitment. This is to unravel key cellular targets and molecular events in the transformation from normal to malignant hematopoiesis. The goal is identifying novel cellular and molecular therapeutic targets. Through these research directions we aim to identify novel therapeutic strategies towards regenerative hematopoiesis and targeting of leukemic stem cells.

Group leader

Sten Eirik Jacobsen

Group leader, Professor in Regenerative Medicine, Senior Physician
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Administration

Research Administrator/Personal Assistant to Sten Eirik

Dimitra Vasileiadi

Project coordinator
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Group members

H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Margs Brennan

Postdoctoral researcher
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Edwin Chari

Research technician
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Amy Hillen

Research technician
C5 Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

Kari Högstrand

Senior research specialist
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Ellen Markljung

Senior lab manager
C5 Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

Stefania Mazzi

Postdoctoral researcher
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Masafumi Seki

Research Specialist
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Tetsuichi Yoshizato

Research Specialist
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Collaborations

Karolinska Institutet

International collaboration

  • Adam Mead, MRC Molecular Hematology Unit, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital University of Oxford
  • Claus Nerlov, MRC Molecular Hematology Unit, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital University of Oxford
  • Marella de Bruijn, Molecular Hematology Unit, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital University of Oxford
  • Johanna Olweus, Department of Cancer Immunology, Oslo University Hospital

Projects

Unravelling normal and malignant hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell biology at the single cell level

The Jacobsen Group has for more than a decade had a focus on establishing key lineage commitment/restriction steps and blood lineage pathways in normal hematopoiesis (Adolfsson Cell 2005; Boiers Cell Stem Cell 2013; Sanjuan-Pla Nature 2013; Luis Nature Immunology 2016; Drissen Nature Immunology 2016; Carrelha Nature 2018), and identified and characterized distinct and rare cancer stem cells and their therapeutic resistance in chronic hematological malignancies (Tehranchi New Engl J Med 2010; Mead N Engl J Med 2012; Woll Cancer Cell 2014; Giustacchini Nature Medicine 2017).

Research support

  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
  • The Swedish Research Council
  • Torsten Söderbergs Foundation
  • Karolinska Institutet, Center for Innovative Medicine (CIMED)
  • The Swedish Cancer Society
  • The Swedish Pediatric Cancer Society

Publications

Link to all publications (PubMed)

  1. Ezh2 and Runx1 Mutations Collaborate to Initiate Lympho-Myeloid Leukemia in Early Thymic Progenitors.
    Booth CAG, Barkas N, Neo WH, Boukarabila H, Soilleux EJ, Giotopoulos G, Farnoud N, Giustacchini A, Ashley N, Carrelha J, Jamieson L, Atkinson D, Bouriez-Jones T, Prinjha RK, Milne TA, Teachey DT, Papaemmanuil E, Huntly BJP, Jacobsen SEW, Mead AJ
    Cancer Cell 2018 02;33(2):274-291.e8
     
  2. Hierarchically related lineage-restricted fates of multipotent haematopoietic stem cells.
    Carrelha J, Meng Y, Kettyle LM, Luis TC, Norfo R, Alcolea V, et al
    Nature 2018 02;554(7690):106-111, PMID: 29298288
     
  3. Single-cell transcriptomics uncovers distinct molecular signatures of stem cells in chronic myeloid leukemia.
    Giustacchini A, Thongjuea S, Barkas N, Woll PS, Povinelli BJ, Booth CAG, et al
    Nat. Med. 2017 Jun;23(6):692-702, PMID: 28504724
     
  4. Initial seeding of the embryonic thymus by immune-restricted lympho-myeloid progenitors.
    Luis TC, Luc S, Mizukami T, Boukarabila H, Thongjuea S, Woll PS, et al
    Nat. Immunol. 2016 Dec;17(12):1424-1435, PMID: 27695000
     
  5. Distinct myeloid progenitor-differentiation pathways identified through single-cell RNA sequencing.
    Drissen R, Buza-Vidas N, Woll P, Thongjuea S, Gambardella A, Giustacchini A, et al
    Nat. Immunol. 2016 06;17(6):666-676, PMID: 27043410
     
  6. Myelodysplastic syndromes are propagated by rare and distinct human cancer stem cells in vivo.
    Woll PS, Kjällquist U, Chowdhury O, Doolittle H, Wedge DC, Thongjuea S, et al
    Cancer Cell 2014 Jun;25(6):794-808, PMID: 24835589
     
  7. Lymphomyeloid contribution of an immune-restricted progenitor emerging prior to definitive hematopoietic stem cells.
    Böiers C, Carrelha J, Lutteropp M, Luc S, Green JC, Azzoni E, et al
    Cell Stem Cell 2013 Nov;13(5):535-48, PMID: 24054998
     
  8. Platelet-biased stem cells reside at the apex of the haematopoietic stem-cell hierarchy.
    Sanjuan-Pla A, Macaulay IC, Jensen CT, Woll PS, Luis TC, Mead A, et al
    Nature 2013 Oct;502(7470):232-6, PMID: 23934107
     
  9. Persistent malignant stem cells in del(5q) myelodysplasia in remission.
    Tehranchi R, Woll PS, Anderson K, Buza-Vidas N, Mizukami T, Mead AJ, et al
    N. Engl. J. Med. 2010 Sep;363(11):1025-37, PMID: 20825315
     
  10. Identification of Flt3+ lympho-myeloid stem cells lacking erythro-megakaryocytic potential a revised road map for adult blood lineage commitment.
    Adolfsson J, Månsson R, Buza-Vidas N, Hultquist A, Liuba K, Jensen CT, et al
    Cell 2005 Apr;121(2):295-306, PMID: 15851035
     
  11. T cells targeted to TdT kill leukemic lymphoblasts while sparing normal lymphocytes.
    Ali M, Giannakopoulou E, Li Y, Lehander M, Virding Culleton S, Yang W, Knetter C, Odabasi MC, Bollineni RC, Yang X, Foldvari Z, Böschen ML, Taraldsrud E, Strønen E, Toebes M, Hillen A, Mazzi S, de Ru AH, Janssen GMC, Kolstad A, Tjønnfjord GE, Lie BA, Griffioen M, Lehmann S, Osnes LT, Buechner J, Garcia KC, Schumacher TN, van Veelen PA, Leisegang M, Jacobsen SE*, Woll P*, Olweus J.
    Natute Biotechnology 2022 Apr;40(4):488-498, doi: 10.1038/s41587-021-01089-x. PMID: 34873326