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October 2012 Connections Newsletter
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In the October 2012 Issue

Annual Scientific Meeting
ISEH enjoys highly successful 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting
2012 New Investigator Award winners take center stage at Annual Scientific Meeting
ISEH releases key information regarding 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting


ISEH recognizes outgoing board members, welcomes new additions
Call for awards extended to 2 November
Need to fill a job? Looking for a new job? Take advantage of ISEH's online job service
ISEH expands member benefits related to Experimental Hematology
Looking to Volunteer at ISEH?
Renew your ISEH membership for 2013

Profession News
Ottawa cancer research team given $7.5 million grant
UCLA stem cell researchers discover ‘missing link'
Explore SLAS2013 program to find resources

Experimental Hematology
Explore key manuscripts in the October and November issues of Experimental Hematology

Annual Scientific Meeting

ISEH enjoys highly successful 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting

ISEH's 41st Annual Scientific Meeting was the pinnacle of a very successful year for the society. The event, which was held 23-26 August 2012 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, recorded significant gains and increases compared to the 2011 event.

Based on survey information, 98 percent of respondents rated the meeting as good or excellent; zero rated it as inadequate. Furthermore, all respondents said they would recommend the meeting to their colleagues. The respondents shared other insight including that the scientific program content, networking and exposure to unpublished scientific research were the most important factors in deciding to attend.

The 2012 event also recorded a 19 percent increase in abstract submissions, 22 percent increase in New Investigator attendance and a 29 percent increase in overall participants compared to 2011.

More than 400 attendees enjoyed robust networking opportunities and an overall environment that promoted the sharing of cutting-edge industry information. Attendees also represented a diverse mix from various locations, including:

  • Americas: 25 percent
  • Asia-Pacific: 14 percent
  • Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) – 61 percent

The increased attendance coincided with a sharp increase in abstract submissions, making the event full of quality, high-level education. ISEH received more than 250 abstracts.

2012 New Investigator Award winners take center stage at Annual Scientific Meeting

ISEH congratulates the following New Investigator Award winners who presented at the 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting in Amsterdam:

First Prize - Dirk van Bekkum Award (1st Place Student Award)
Brian Liddicoat - St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia
Abstract title: ADAR1 is Essential for Erythroid Development

Second Prize - The T. Ray Bradley Award (2nd Place Student Award)
Bérengère de Laval - Institut Cochin, Paris, France
Abstract title: Thrombopoietin Increases DNA Repair and Limits Hematopoietic stem Cell Long-term Injury and Mutagenesis in Response to DNA Damage

First Prize – The Eugene Cronkite Award (1st Place Post-doc Award)
Katie Foster - Cancer Research UK, London, United Kingdom
Abstract title: Intravital Imaging of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell Homing in the Bone Marrow Niche

Second Prize - George Brecher Award (2nd Place Post-doc Award)
Ayako Ishizu - Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
Abstract title: Functions of Platelet Factor CLEC-2 in the Peri-Vascular Bone Marrow Niche: A Possible Trilateral Regulation of HSCs by Each Other, Their Progeny and Niche

Please visit Experimental Hematology online to view the winning abstracts.

ISEH releases key information regarding 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting

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

Make your plans now to attend the 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 upon request.

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

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ISEH recognizes outgoing board members, welcomes new additions

ISEH is a robust professional medical society focused on a tremendously fast-paced, exciting field. Its ability to stay relevant and offer high-value member services is solely because of its dedicated and passionate volunteer base. At its 41st Annual Scientific Meeting, ISEH thanked several outgoing board members for their services and welcomed several new volunteer leaders to the board of directors.

Outgoing board members include:

Past President: David Scadden (USA)
Secretary/Treasurer: Tao Cheng (China)
Directors: Timm Schroeder (Germany), Toshio Kitamura (Japan) and Patricia Ernst (USA)

2013 board members include:


Elaine Dzierzak, PhD (The Netherlands) - 2014
Erasmus Medical Center Cell Biology Department


Margaret Goodell, PhD (USA) - 2015
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center
Baylor College of Medicine

Vice President

*Paul Frenette, MD (USA) - 2016
Ruth L and David S. Gottesman Institute for
Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research


*Jean-Pierre Levesque, PhD (Australia) - 2014
Mater Medical Research Institute

Immediate Past President

Gerald De Haan, PhD (Holland) - 2013
University of Groningen


James Palis (USA) - 2014
University of Rochester Medical Center

Marella de Bruijn (UK) - 2014
Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine

Louise Purton, PhD (Australia) - 2014
St. Vincent's Institute, Stem Cell Regulation Unit

Bertie Gottgens (UK) - 2014
University of Cambridge

Emmanuelle Passegué, PhD (USA) - 2013
University of California San Francisco

Patricia Ernst, PhD (USA) - 2015
Dartmouth Medical School

David Traver, PhD (USA) - 2013
University of California
San Diego Division of Biological Sciences

*Andrew Elefanty, PhD (Australia) - 2015
Monash University

*Jonas Larsson, PhD (Sweden) - 2015
Lund University

*New board member

Call for awards extended to 2 November

ISEH is currently accepting nominations for the for 2013 McCulloch & Till and Donald Metcalf awards. Nominations are due 2 November.

Donald Metcalf Award criteria includes:

  • Current member of ISEH
  • Outstanding contributions to one or more areas of interest to the Society
  • Active scientifically and able to have a featured lecture at the annual meeting
  • Not a current member of the Executive Committee or Awards Committee.
  • Not a previous Metcalf Awardee
  • Strong presentation skills

McCulloch & Till Award criteria includes:

  • Current member of ISEH
  • Early Career - within 15 years of becoming independent investigator (assistant professor or equivalent)
  • Active scientifically and able to have a featured lecture at the annual meeting
  • Not a current member of the Executive Committee or Awards Committee.
  • Not a previous Metcalf/McCulloch & Till Awardee

If you would like to submit a nomination, please review the criteria for candidates and make sure that they are eligible. Nominations are due 2 November. READ MORE

Need to fill a job? Looking for a new job?
Take advantage of ISEH's online job 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! READ MORE

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.

Looking to Volunteer at ISEH?

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

Renew your ISEH membership for 2013

Connecting clinicians and researchers from around the world, ISEH is an inclusive, international forum that creates many opportunities for conversations between leaders in the field, young scientists and industry. The Society has more than 650 active members from 40 countries around the world. Be sure to renew your membership status. Below is an outline of just a few of ISEH's high-level benefits available to all members. 

  • Online education: Starting in 2013, ISEH will bring cutting-edge scientific education directly to you through online sessions
  • Experimental Hematology, the official Society Journal. 
    • No page fee for articles published
    • No manuscript submission fee
    • Fast turnaround time for accepted manuscripts (about three weeks)
    • Table of contents emailed directly to you when each issue is released
  • ISEH Connections in Hematology, your ISEH e-newsletter, is the exclusive source for Society, member and industry news.
    • New in 2013: The e-newsletter will include detailed meeting reports, expanded industry news highlights, and career information
  • Reduced registration fees at the ISEH Annual Scientific Meeting (Vienna 2013) and waived abstract submission fee for oral and poster presentations
  • Eligibility for ISEH awards and travel grants
  • Expanded and updated Career Site, your online resource to the next career opportunity
  • Access to ISEH's interactive website

Have you secured your spot by renewing your membership for 2013? If not, click here to do so today! 

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Profession News

Ottawa cancer research team given $7.5M grant

Editor's note – Dr. Keith Humphries, who is editor-in-chief of ISEH's scientific journal – Experimental Hematology, is highlighted in this article.

Two world-class cancer research teams will be able to take their work a step further thanks to a $13.4-million grant from the Terry Fox Foundation.

The two research teams -- one based in Ottawa and another from Vancouver -- were chosen from over 15 groups vying for the grants, made possible through the annual fundraising runs in Fox's name.

The grant recipients were introduced at the Ottawa Cancer Centre on Thursday.

Now armed with an extra $7.5 million, the Ottawa-based team led by Dr. John Bell will be able to further their research into viruses used to target and kill cancer cells, called oncolytic viruses. Bell, with the support of a team of specialists spread across the country, is developing cancer-killing viruses which can be injected into a tumour and attack the disease cells.

Dr. Keith Humphries, a professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia, and his team have focused their research into gaining a better understanding of different forms of acute leukemia. READ MORE

UCLA stem cell researchers discover ‘missing link'

Editor's note – Dr. Gay Crooks and Lisa Kohn are two, well-respected ISEH members and are highlighted in this article.

UCLA researchers have discovered a type of cell that is the "missing link” between bone marrow stem cells and all the cells of the human immune system. They note that their discovery will lead to a greater understanding of how a healthy immune system is produced and how disease can lead to poor immune function. They published their findings on September 2 in the early online edition of the journal Nature Immunology.

The researchers conducted their studies using human bone marrow, which contains all the stem cells that produce blood after birth. "We felt it was especially important to do these studies using human bone marrow as most research into the development of the immune system has used mouse bone marrow,” explained study senior author Dr. Gay Crooks, co-director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and a co-director of the Cancer and Stem Cell Biology program at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She added, "The few studies with human tissue have mostly used umbilical cord blood, which does not reflect the immune system of postnatal life.” She noted that the research team was "intrigued to find this particular bone marrow cell because it opens up a lot of new possibilities in terms of understanding how human immunity is produced from stem cells throughout life.” READ MORE

Explore SLAS2013 Program to Find Resources

The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening’s five-day event, SLAS2013, on 12-16 Jan., brings together more than 4,500 laboratory science and technology scientists, academicians, business leaders and students from around the globe. The SLAS2013 website event scheduler allows you to search for topics and/or speakers to plan your experience. Type "stem cells,” "hematology,” or "leukemia” into the event scheduler for a glimpse of applicable sessions. In addition to the information on the SLAS2013 website, the Society’s e-zine has feature articles posted about the lives and work of the event’s three keynote speakers:

Mehmet Toner
Microfluidics-Based Circulating Tumor Cell Chip Moves Closer to the Clinic

Sir Harold Kroto
Think About It: Nobel Prize Winner Sir Harold Kroto Throws Down the Gauntlet

Charles Sabine
Advocate for Science

Check back in January at for details on the free live streaming events.

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Experimental Hematology

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

In this Issue – October 2012
Anti-HLA antibodies impact transplant outcomes in the absence of HLA mismatches

Detrait et al
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation remains an attractive therapeutic alternative for many patients with various hematologic malignancies. However, in the majority of cases, transplanted stem cells are from bone marrow of a matched or partially matched unrelated donor (MUD), cord blood (CB) or from a T cell–depleted haploidentical donor. In these transplant settings, graft failure remains an important problem, and it is associated with significant mortality. The anti-HLA Abs in the pre-transplant serum has been shown to be associated with graft rejection in solid-organ transplantation. In addition, their role in patients undergoing partially matched CB, T cell–depleted haploidentical and most recently MUD stem cell transplantation has been well documented, mostly in female patients previously allosensitized with multiple pregnancies. In this study, Detrait et al showed that the presence of anti-HLA Abs in pre-transplant serum of patients undergoing fully matched allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation following reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens had a negative impact on overall survival and event-free survival (after stratification on gender), but had no effect on engraftment or incidence of relapse and GvHD. The etiology for this negative role of anti-HLA Abs in the absence of any mismatch is unclear, but while this can be further investigated, the screening for anti-HLA Abs in pre-transplant serum may be used as an easy prognostic marker in fully matched transplant recipients undergoing myeloablative or RIC regimens. For some patients, stem cell transplantation may be the only therapeutic alternative, and when indicated, they may benefit from immune modulation with plasma exchange or intravenous immunoglobulin prior to transplantation.

HDAC inhibitors: Now for autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases
Frikeche et al
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are a new class of cytostatic agents. Their use in the treatment of many hematological and solid malignancies, either as monotherapy or in combination with cytotoxics and differentiation agents, has increased significantly in the last several years. Recent studies have provided compelling evidence that these agents, in addition to their anticancer properties, possess potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects, interestingly at nontoxic concentrations that are significantly lower than the ones required for their antitumor effects. In this comprehensive review, Frikeche et al highlighted the major findings that provided insights into how HDAC inhibitors modulate the immune system. This is done in part by negatively regulating the function of dendritic cells, which are professional antigen-presenting cells and a critical player in the immune system, and by reducing their secretion of inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, these agents also suppress the development of Th1 and Th17 cells and increase the number and function of naturally occurring regulatory T cells, some of the elements that occurred during anti-inflammation and immunosuppression. The evidences summarized in this review indicate that HDAC inhibitors hold great promise as therapeutic agents for the treatment of auto-immune, chronic inflammatory disorders or GVHD. Thus, further investigation into the use of these compounds for non-malignant diseases should be expedited.

Endoglin: A critical player in hematopoiesis
Baik et al
Endoglin (Eng, a.k.a CD105) is an accessory receptor for the TGF-beta superfamily. Its association with the endothelial lineage is well established and its role in hematopoiesis is supported by loss of function studies during embryonic development as well as by its high-level of expression in long-term hematopoietic stem cells in the aorta of the yolk sac and in the adult bone marrow. In this study, Baik et al showed that Eng overexpression during embryoid body differentiation increased the frequency of hematopoietic progenitors, mainly erythroid, at the expense of endothelial and cardiac development. In addition Eng overexpression induced the expression of critical genes that regulate hematopoiesis such as Scl, Gata1, Runx1 and embryonic globin. Moreover, their data positioned Eng upstream of Scl, the master regulator of the hematopoietic program, as Scl was able to rescue the defective primitive erythroid development in Eng-/- ES cells. Both the loss-of-function and overexpression studies provide strong evidence for the role of Eng as a critical regulator within the hematopoietic transcriptional network, showing that it modulates the expression of Scl and its binding partners, all probably via the TGF/BMP4 signaling pathway.

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.

Manuscripts encouraged

Spread the wealth of your knowledge by submitting a manuscript to Experimental Hematology.

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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