Blood Engineering – Vanessa Lundin group

Our work aims to uncover biophysical regulators of human hematopoiesis and lies at the interface of stem cell biology, biomaterial science and tissue engineering.

About our research group

The group is part of the Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine (HERM).

Mission of the research group

Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) are the key players in hematopoiesis and provide life-long production of blood in the bone marrow. Clonal blood disorders, such as myelodysplastic neoplasms (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), arise in HSPCs and are characterized by disrupted hematopoiesis and cytopenia. Our research aims at understanding human hematopoietic development and disease using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and lies at the interface of stem cell biology, biomaterial science and genome engineering. iPSCs can be derived from individuals with certain gene variants, expanded indefinitely, and specified into HSPCs and various hematopoietic lineages, such as erythrocytes, megakaryocytes and NK cells. Furthermore, these cells allow for genome editing, functional readouts, and validation of drug candidates in vitro

Understanding the genetic predisposition and pathogenesis of myeloid neoplasms is crucial to be able to prevent and block disease. Utilizing personalized cell models that harbor specific genetic lesions provides us an opportunity to study a continuum of disease clinically, transcriptionally, and functionally. In our lab, we are working on cell lines with specific mutations to model a spectrum of clinical conditions, from predisposition syndromes to low-risk MDS and high-risk AML. We are leveraging our patient-derived iPSCs with CRISPR/Cas9- and multiomics technologies in order to identify mechanisms underlying myeloid neoplasm development. Moreover, we are passionate about applying interdisciplinary methodology, such as 3D scaffold culture, to better recapitulate in vivo hematopoiesis and thereby enhance adult blood maturation and disease modeling in vitro. Our ultimate goal is to uncover the molecular pathogenesis of myeloid disease that may aid in treatment development. Collaborators include Eva Hellström-Lindberg and Andreas Lennartsson from KI; Kasper Karlsson at SciLifeLab; and Trista North and George Daley from BCH, USA. 


Selected publications