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Investigating human blood development at the single-cell level

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Blood production during foetal development involves separate waves of migration of rare stem cells among different organs, including aorta, liver and bones. It is still unclear how human foetal blood stem cells arise, expand and differentiate in the more than ten cell types that carry out vital body functions such as carrying oxygen, clotting and fighting infections. In my research, I utilise a variety of technologies, including single-cell RNA sequencing, whole genome sequencing and cell-culture assays, to characterise foetal blood progenitors and to understand how stem cells colonise the different organs during development. Uncovering the dynamics of blood production in foetal development has both biological and translational implications. Foetal stem cells have a higher regenerative potential than their adult counterparts and studying them could provide important insights on how we can mimic these properties in the production of blood stem cells ex-vivo for regenerative medicine purposes.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Sciences Group series.

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