Our goal is to understand how hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are generated during embryogenesis, and how their self-renewal ability and multi-potency are established through the careful orchestration of microenvironmental cues and nuclear regulatory mechanisms. We use genetically modified mouse models, murine and human embryonic stem cells and fetal HSCs to identify regulatory pathways that are conserved during mammalian development. We hope that our discoveries will advance the HSC-based therapies available today, and further elucidate how the regulatory mechanisms governing “stemness” are exploited in leukemogenesis. We are affiliated with the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology (MCDB), the Eli and Edythe Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research (BSCRC), the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and the Molecular Biology Institute (MBI) at UCLA.   

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THE MIKKOLA LAB