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December 2012 Connections Newsletter
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In the December 2012/January 2013 Issue

Annual Scientific Meeting
ISEH releases exciting new details about its 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting  
Scientific Meeting: ISEH announces an exceptional invited speaker lineup


ISEH announces winners of the Donald Metcalf and McCulloch & Till awards
ISEH launches 2013 membership renewals and enhanced member benefits
ISEH expands member benefits related to Experimental Hematology
Let ISEH help your job prospects via its online CareerWebsite service
Help bolster ISEH volunteer leadership

Profession News
Transplanted Neural Stem Cells Treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Mouse Model
2013 Smart Guide: Revolutionary human stem cell trial

Experimental Hematology
Explore key manuscripts in the December and January issues of Experimental Hematology

Annual Scientific Meeting

ISEH releases exciting new details about its 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting

The Imperial Riding School Renaissance Hotel, Vienna, Austria
22-25 August, 2013

Make your plans now to attend the ISEH 42nd Annual Scientific Meeting, an annual forum for the exchange and discussion of original, unpublished and significant research advances in the areas of hematology and stem cell biology. This exclusive scientific meeting will feature leaders in the field as well as promising young scientists.

Unique with its intimate format, the scientific meeting will include more than 30 educational sessions, featuring lectures by our distinguished panel. The New Investigators track provides those entering the field the opportunity to meet and connect with highly regarded ISEH scientists. New Investigator Awards and Travel Grants are available.

Online content:

Registration will open in February 2013. Regularly visit the ISEH website for additional information as it is released.

Scientific Meeting: ISEH announces an exceptional invited speaker lineup

ISEH’s No. 1 priority for each of its annual scientific meeting is to secure the industry’s best and brightest speakers and presenters. The 42nd Annual Scientific Meeting is already off to a strong start as the association recently released its invited speaker list, which includes:

Cell and Gene Therapy
Christoph Klein, Hannover Medical School, Germany

Genetic Regulation Of Hematopoiesis
Meinrad Busslinger, IMP/Vienna
Daniel G. Tenen, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Frank Rosenbauer, University of Muenster

Heme Development
Cristina lo Celso, Imperial College London
Katrin Ottersbach, Cambridge University
Manuela Tavian, INSERM

Peter Valent, University of Vienna
Veronika Sexl, University of Veterinary Medicine
Jan Cools, VIB Center for the Biology of Disease
Sai-Juaa Chen, Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences
Uli Steidl, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Koichi Akashi, Kyushu University
Andreas Strasser ,Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Joanna Loizou, CEMM Institute

New Investigator Lecture
Ross Levine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Regulation Of Lineage Commitment
Camilla Forsberg, University of California, Santa Cruz
David Bryder, University of Lund
Douglas Hilton, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Ben Kile, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Stem Cell Niche
Juergen Knoblich, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology

Stem Cells
Keiichi Nakayama, Kyushu University
Samir Taoudi, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Genetic Regulation
Emery Bresnick, University of Wisconsin, Cell and Regenerative Biology

Don Metcalf Award Lecturer
Leonard Zon, Boston Children's Hospital/Howard Hughes Medical Institute

McCulloch and Till Award Lecturer
Hanna Mikkola, University of California, Los Angeles

Cellular Dynamics/The Niche, And Model Systems
Giulio Superti-Furga, Research Center for Moleclar Medicine
Hiro Nakauchi, Unviersity of Tokyo

The call for abstracts will be in February. Visit the ISEH website for additional information as it is released.

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ISEH announces winners of the Donald Metcalf and McCulloch & Till awards

ISEH’s Donald Metcalf and McCulloch & Till awards are not easily attained and are only given to the most deserving professionals within the hematology and stem cells scientific fields. This year’s honors go to Hanna K.A. Mikkola, the McCulloch and Till Award winner, and Dr. Leonard I. Zon, MD, the Donald Metcalf Award winner.

Mikkola is an assistant professor at the University of California Los Angeles – MCDB. She received M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in 1997 from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her interest in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) biology started during her post-doctoral training in Stefan Karlsson's laboratory in Lund University, Sweden, (1998-2000), where she developed lentiviral gene transfer tools to manipulate stem cells. In 2000, she joined Stuart Orkin's group at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. Her work in Boston focused on hematopoietic transcription factors, as well as on defining the first stages of HSC development through identifying markers for nascent HSCs and describing the placenta as a novel site where HSCs develop.

Mikkola joined UCLA as an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology (MCDB) in July 2005. She is an active member of the Eli and Edythe Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research (BSCRC) and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) Gene Regulation and Hematopoietic Malignancy Program areas. She received the Martha Austin Research Award from the Stop Cancer Foundation in 2005 and Junior Faculty Scholar Awards from the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and V foundation for Cancer Research in 2006. Her lab has also received support from NIH/NIDDK, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), Cancer Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Information provided by the Mikkola lab at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The McCulloch and Till Award was established in 2004 in honor of Professor Ernest McCulloch and Professor James Till. The award recognizes junior scientists in the field of hematology and stem cells.

Zon is the founder and director of the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and the first incumbent of the newly established Grousbeck Professor of Pediatrics Chair at Children’s. An internationally renowned pediatrician and researcher specializing in blood diseases, Zon is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, an AAAS Fellow, founder and past president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and chair of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s Executive Committee. In October 2005, Zon was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health.

As a practicing pediatrician, Zon has been involved in many battles fought by physicians, researchers, parents and small children against an enemy disease; he has experienced the pain and deep frustration of losing some of these young patients because science had not yet found a way to deliver the help they needed. When human ES cells were first isolated and grown in a laboratory in 1998, Zon recognized their potential as a source of hope for his own and so many other young patients. He has since gained international recognition for his pioneering research in the fields of stem cell biology and cancer genetics.

Zon’s current research focuses on two avenues of investigation: the identification of the specific genes and drugs that specialized blood or organ cells, and the development of genetic or chemical suppressors to cure cancers and many other diseases attacking children. Information provided by the Boston Children’s Hospital.

The Donald Metcalf Award was established in 1999 in honor of Professor Donald Metcalf, ‘the father of hematopoietic cytokines’ for his pioneering work on the control of blood cell formation. This award recognizes distinguished scientists in the field.

ISEH launches 2013 membership renewals and enhanced member benefits

Join ISEH on the path to the 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting in Vienna, Austria, for a promising year of cutting-edge scientific research. Please know that current memberships for 2012 will expire on Dec. 31, 2012. Renew today and take advantage of enhanced member-only benefits like registration fee discounts and complimentary abstract submission to the 2013 ISEH Annual Scientific Meeting, online education and more!

Simply sign onto the site with your username and password and click on "Securely Renew Your Membership.”

New to ISEH? ISEH is at the forefront of bringing together more than 650 leading scientists and new investigators of all career levels from around the world to discuss new discoveries in experimental, pre-clinical and clinical hematology and stem cell biology. Visit our membership information page to learn more and join today!

ISEH expands member benefits related to Experimental Hematology

Experimental Hematology, ISEH’s official journal, publishes original research reports (regular and fast-track submissions), reviews, letters to the editor, and abstracts of the annual meeting of ISEH. Manuscripts focus on in vitro and in vivo research centered on normal and malignant hematopoiesis as well as non-malignant hematologic diseases. Submissions focused on non-hematopoietic stem cells (e.g., mesenchymal stem cells, embryonic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stems) with potential relevance to hematopoiesis are also featured, as are studies involving experimental or early phase clinical cell transplantation.

Starting in 2013, ISEH members will notice several enhancements related to Experimental Hematology.

  • Non-members pay a $50 fee to submit a manuscript for consideration in the journal. FREE to ISEH Members!
  • Page charges for manuscripts (as of the June 2003 issue); $50 per page for the first eight published pages or portions thereof, and $160 for each additional page over eight or portion thereof, plus tax (except for employees of nonprofit institutions who provide tax-exempt numbers at time of payment). New: FREE to ISEH Members!
  • General members will receive an electronic table of contents notifying them that the new issue is available online for the full online access to the journal. Options for print are available when renewing your 2013 membership.
  • Enhanced web platform: Social Bookmarking, citation following, etc.
  • New graphic design - coming soon!
For more information, visit the Experimental Hematology online.

 Let ISEH help your job prospects via its online CareerWebsite service

ISEH’s CareerWebsite service offers a targeted job bank for employers and job seekers. If you are an employer, you can post positions and search candidate resumes. If you are a job seeker (i.e., new investigator), you can anonymously post your resume, view posted jobs and create job alerts that notify you via email when an opportunity arises that meets your search criteria. Take advantage of this great benefit today!

Help bolster ISEH volunteer leadership

ISEH is facing exciting initiatives and we believe that our volunteers will contribute greatly to the success of the Society. If you are interested in helping ISEH, simply email us at and we encourage you to come forward with ideas and recommendations.

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Profession News

Transplanted Neural Stem Cells Treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Mouse Model

In 11 independent studies, a consortium of ALS researchers shows that transplanting neural stem cells into the spinal cord of an ALS mouse model slows disease onset and progression, improves motor function, and significantly prolongs survival. READ MORE

2013 Smart Guide: Revolutionary human stem cell trial

If all goes to plan, 2013 should see the first human trial of "rewound" cells. These are produced by turning adult cells back to a stem cell state and then coaxing them into becoming another type of cell. It will mark a milestone in our ability to generate new tissue - and maybe whole organs - from people's own cells.

In 2006, Shinya Yamanaka reverted skin cells to an embryonic state. He called these cells induced pluripotent stem cells. iPSCs can grow into any tissue in the body by exposure to natural growth factors. READ MORE

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Experimental Hematology

Take a quick tour of the November and December issues and get a feel for the publication's cutting-edge scientific content. Read the full issues online.

In this Issue – November 2012

Humanized Delta-like1 (DLL1) transgenic NOG mice; a new model for osteosclerosis
Ito et al
Notch signaling induced by DLL1 plays an important role in the maintenance and expansion of hematopoietic stem cells in their niche. To study the effect of Notch signaling on human hematopoiesis in vivo, Ito et al developed in this study a novel transgenic NOG mice with the human Notch ligand DLL1 gene expressed only in osteoblasts. To their surprise, these mice developed severe osteosclerosis and human hematopoiesis was significantly suppressed. Even though this mouse model did not meet the hypothesized expectation, it is a unique model of osteosclerosis which may serve as a useful tool for investigators to better understand hematopoiesis in patients with osteosclerosis disorders such as osteopetrosis, and might help discover new therapeutic targets. Moreover, studies of these mice may lead to a better understanding of the role of Notch signaling in osteogenesis.

IL8: A potential biomarker for acute graft versus host disease
Vernera et al
Acute graft-vs-host disease (aGVHD) a frequent life-threatening complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Currently there are no reliable diagnostic markers that can predict treatment outcomes. In this study, Vernera et al identified 280 genes that were differentially expressed at the time of diagnosis between the favorable (alive at a median follow up at 40 months) and unfavorable (died of aGVHD) group of patients. These genes were mostly involved in cytokine signaling, proinflammatory responses and cell cycle regulation. Of those, interleukin-8 (IL8) and G0S2 were the most upregulated and CDKN1C was the most downregulated in the unfavorable group. Interestingly, earlier in 2012, Levine et al reported in Blood that IL-8 was also one of the 6 protein biomarkers that predicted survival and response to therapy in patients with newly diagnosed aGVHD. These findings suggest that gene expression profiling or biomarker panels performed at the onset of aGVHD might be useful tools for the clinicians for early identification of high risk patients. Once identified, immediate and aggressive intervention can be implemented, which hopefully will result in improved survival after allo-HSCT. Moreover, these studies also enhance our understanding of the pathogenesis of aGVHD and identify potential targets for pharmacological manipulation.

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Multiple Sclerosis
Shevchenko et al
Intense immunosuppression followed by AHSCT offers a promising therapeutic alternative for patients with severe MS who failed to respond to standard therapies. Since 1995, nearly 600 patients have received AHSCT in small, single-center phase 1-2 uncontrolled trials, and some have benefited from this intervention. Therefore, there is an urgent need to solidify and clarify the clinical efficacy of this treatment modality in large, prospective and controlled studies. In this study, Shevchenko et al reported the results of their prospective phase II open-label single-center study of high-dose immunosuppressive therapy + AHSCT following a reduced intensity conditioning regimen in 95 patients with MS at various stages of their disease. They documented a significant improvement in the quality of life of patients who received AHSCT. Moreover, those who received AHSCT early had a better progression-free survival (92%) at 5 years than the ones who received conventional/ salvage AHSCT (73%). There has been significant enthusiasm in the field for establishing the clinical efficacy of AHSCT for aggressive MS. In June 2012, Saccardi et al reported the initiation of a prospective, randomized, controlled multicentre phase 3 trial which would assess the clinical efficacy of AHSCT for aggressive MS in a controlled manner. In this study, which was designed by the European and American Blood and Marrow Transplantation Societies, patients will receive Cyclophosphamide and G-CSF mobilized autologous peripheral blood stem cells following an intermediate intensity conditioning regimen with BEAM (BCNU + cytosine arabinoside + etoposide + melphalan) and ATG, very similar to the regimen in the Shevchenko study. Now everyone in the field, as well as patients with MS, are eagerly waiting for the results of this study which has the potential to improve the lives of many patients with this very debilitating disease.

In this Issue – December 2012

Cohesin; a master regulator of hematopoietic transcriptional programs
Panigrahi et al
The role of cohesin in mediating chromosomal cohesion between sister chromatids is well established. Recent evidence support its role as a transcription regulator, as it is able to communicate with tissue- specific transcription factors and basal transcription machinery, mediate architectural chromatin organization, and communicate with chromatin remodeling and modification molecules. In this review, Panigrahi et al suggested that cohesin may have a central role in the orchestration of hematopoiesis as a "master regulator” of transcriptional programs because of its ability to regulate transcription by various pathways. It will be very interesting to further understand how cohesin accomplishes such a complex process of orchestration of hematopoiesis.

The unexpected role of Pbx3 in leukemic transformation
Novak et al
Transgenic mice expressing NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) and CALM-AF10 (CA10) oncogenic fusion genes develop AML with a long latency and incomplete penetrance, and therefore, they are useful models to search for collaborating genetic events required for leukemic transformation. In this study, Novak et al showed that both CA10- and NHD13-induced AML acquired a Ras pathway mutation, whereas Flt3 mutations were documented only in CA10-induced AML. Moreover, some Hox genes (Hoxa5, Hoxa9and Hoxa10 in particular) and mir196b (embedded within the Hoxa locus) were markedly upregulated in both NHD13 and CA10 mice. Interestingly however, the Hox cofactors were differentially expressed, Meis1 was increased in CA10-, whereas Pbx3 was increased in NHD13-induced AML. Furthermore, the investigators demonstrated that loss of Pbx3 is important to the maintenance and survival of cells overexpressing an NHD13 fusion, an unexpected functional role for Pbx3 expression in NHD13-induced leukemic transformation. Such studies searching for collaborating events in leukemic transformation are valuable as they help identify novel therapeutic targets in AML.

Tissue specific T-regs; potential prognostic markers for acute graft-versus-host disease
Engelhardt et al
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a frequent life-threatening complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Reliable diagnostic and prognostic markers that can predict incidence and survival are urgently needed. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a subset of CD4+ T cells capable of suppressing alloimmune responses. In this study, Engelhardt et al reported that at engraftment, after allo-HSCT, patients with high frequencies of circulating skin (CLA+) or gut tissue-specific (α4β7+) Tregs had significantly lower incidence of aGVHD of skin and gut at day 100. They also had better overall survival and non-relapse mortality at 2 years. Flow cytometric quantitation of tissue-specific Tregs is a relatively simple test, yet has the potential to be a powerful tool for the clinicians. It will guide them to implement early and aggressive tissue-specific preemptive therapies resulting in a decrease in the incidence of clinical aGVHD and improve outcomes in these patients.

Manuscripts encouraged

The publishing team seeks manuscripts describing research involving in vivo and ex vivo studies in the following areas: cell cycle regulation, cytokines, erythropoiesis, gene therapy, general hematopoiesis, granulopoiesis, hematological malignancies, immunobiology, immunotherapy, lymphopoiesis, megakaryocytopoiesis, microenvironment, monocyte development, molecular genetics, signal transduction, stem cell biology and experimental as well as clinical stem cell transplantation. Visit the Experimental Hematology website for more information. 

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