I’m a scientist who studies hematopoiesis, bone marrow anatomy, bone marrow regeneration and leukemia. Since joining Cincinnati Children’s in 2018, I’ve focused on understanding the basis of blood cell production in the bone marrow.
As a PhD student at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain, I generated mice lacking DNA polymerase mu (an enzyme involved in DNA repair). I found that these mice had a defect in their ability to produce blood. This discovery sparked my lifelong interest in regenerative/stress hematopoiesis and prompted me to continue my training at Mount Sinai Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. There, I worked with Paul S. Frenette, MD. His laboratory is interested in understanding how hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are regulated by the microenvironment of bone marrow.
During my postdoctoral training, I demonstrated that: 1) the sympathetic nervous system acts on the niche to control HSC trafficking and mobilization, and 2) sympathetic signals are necessary for the regeneration of the niche after transplantation. I also investigated the crosstalk between mature hematopoietic cells and HSC and discovered that macrophages and megakaryocytes are components of the niche regulating HSC trafficking and quiescence, respectively.
Today, as an independent principal investigator, I continue to study cellular crosstalk in the bone marrow and how it impacts hematopoiesis. My colleagues and I are also working to define the impact of different stromal niches in regulating steady state and emergency myeloid and erythroid cell production.
In addition to discovering that granulocytes drive the regeneration of the sinusoidal HSC niche after myeloablation via TNFα secretion, we recently developed a new series of imaging tools that allows complete mapping of myelopoiesis and erythropoiesis.