Bone Marrow (Stromal) Stem Cells and Cellular Therapies
Human bone marrow (BM) contains the hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) as well as a rare population of non-hematopoietic bone marrow stromal stem cells (BMSC). The HSCs are responsible for the life-long production of the different blood cells, whereas BMSCs generate skeletal tissues and give rise to the hematopoietic microenvironment (HME). HSC and BMSC closely interact with each other, and the HME thus plays a vital role in the regulation of hematopoiesis. On the one hand, aberrations in HSC have been demonstrated to induce changes in the HME and, on the other hand, dysfunctional BMSC have been implicated in the development and progression of hematopoietic stem cell diseases, and impaired hematopoietic recovery after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, respectively.
One major focus of our research is to study bone marrow hematopoietic and stromal stem cells and their crosstalk in healthy and diseased bone marrow, aiming to develop therapies to repair or eliminate and replace dysfunctional HSCs and BMSCs, thus leading to improved therapies for patients with hematological malignancies.
Malignant HSC can be replaced by transplantation of healthy donor stem cells (so-called hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, HSCT), which is the only curative treatment for patients with high-risk hematological malignancies. However, HSCT is a potentially dangerous procedure with severe side-effects which cause a considerable treatment-related morbidity and mortality. Therefore, another major line of research in our lab focuses on the development of novel novel and improved stem cell collection and separation technologies and transplantation biomarker assays based on acoustic sorting (acoustophoresis).
Selected ongoing research projects are described in more detail here.
Finally, we are actively involved in the development of a GMP infrastructure that will allow to translate the therapies developed in StemTherapy and other programs into clincial advanced medicinal products (ATMP). Here, we are represented in key positions in the National Tissue Project (Vävnadsrådet) and the National Center for Advanced Medical Products, CAMP.