Keightley – Myeloid development and disease

Group leader

Dr Cristina Keightley

Senior Lecturer, College of Science, Health and Engineering

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Research overview

During blood cell development transcription factors direct multipotent haemopoietic stem cells (HSC) to make all the different kinds of blood cells in the right amounts. When blood cell development goes wrong, making too few, too many or the wrong cells, it causes disease. This makes HSCs a cell type of central interest for regenerative medicine and gene therapy. How transcription factors direct and maintain a normal population of HSCs and balanced output of the different mature blood cells is fundamentally important. We recently discovered the transcription factor Zbtb11 is essential for blood and stem cell development. Our group investigates the cell biology and molecular mechanisms of how and why blood development fails in the absence of Zbtb11 using our unique zebrafish models of Zbtb11 deficiency. This understanding will provide important foundational knowledge for effectively manipulating blood cell outputs in the clinic to treat disease.

Research areas