Main Field(s) of Research, Abstract
Mammalian bone marrow (BM) cavities contain highly dynamic tissues of unique functional and cellular complexity. Besides serving as principal hematopoietic sites during adulthood, BM tissues provide the necessary environment for the development of immune responses, and maintenance of immunological memory. The hematopoietic components of the BM are embedded within a highly complex stromal framework, which beyond lending structural support, actively participates in the regulation of hematopoiesis. BM stromal constituents comprise dense microvascular networks, a hierarchically organized mesenchymal compartment and cells of neural origin. Non-hematopoietic stroma has been shown to play a fundamental role in the maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in specific niches within BM microenvironment. Our research program seeks to better dissect the cellular make-up of BM stroma, understand how stromal components assemble in unique spatial configurations and how they contribute to the regulation of BM hematopoietic function and HSC maintenance. Our goal is to ultimately understand how BM structural integrity is fundamentally altered in pathological conditions, how this affects tissue organization and specialized niche function, and the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which a fully competent/functional BM microarchitecture is regenerated post-injury. To perform these studies we take advantage of state of the art imaging technologies implemented in our laboratory, which enable the three-dimensional reconstruction and visualization of large volumes of hematopoietic tissues with unprecedented resolution.
Master Thesis Project Description (PDF, 894 KB)