Join us to hear Associate Professor Jody Haigh from Monash University and Alfred Health discuss leukaemic stem cells and iPS modelling and what they can teach us about human disease and treatment paradigms.
Leukemic transformation arises through sequential mutations and epigenetic alterations in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Although significant progress has been made in the identification of the most frequent genetic driver mutations in both myeloid and lymphoid malignancies, the challenge is to understand how these mutations cooperate to cause disease. As well there is a real need to develop therapeutic approaches that can target leukemic stem/initiating cells that are clonally selected for and resistant to current chemotherapeutic treatments. This talk will focus on our use of novel mouse genetic models to understand transcriptional and epigenetic factors involved in the development of leukemic stem/initiating cells with a particular focus on aggressive forms of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL). In the second part of the talk the use of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) technologies will be discussed and how we are creating and using leukemic-iPS cells derived from primary acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patient biopsies to better understand how to pharmacologically and genetically dissect aggressive forms of this disease.
Jody Jonathan Haigh completed his undergraduate degree in Life Sciences (BSc.H.) and M.Sc. degree in Biochemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. This was followed by a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry at the IMP/University of Vienna, Austria. He spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Andras Nagy at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto, Canada. From 2004-2013 he ran his own research group at the VIB and was an Assistant Professor at Ghent University in Belgium. Jody was recruited to the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD) at Monash University on a Larkin’s Fellowship as an Associate Professor (August 2013). He also presently holds a secondary appointment as an Associate Professor at the Australian Centre for Regenerative Medicine (ARMI). Throughout his career he has developed and used novel mouse embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell based transgenic technologies to study genes involved in cardiovascular and hematopoietic development and disease-related processes.