Hematopoiesis and immune cell cancer

Destruction of leukaemia cell, conceptual image. 3D illustration which can be used to illustrate blood cancer treatment

Hematopoiesis is a complex but precisely regulated process that gives rise to blood cells of all lineages. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), which occupy a very distinct niche in the bone marrow, through differentiation give rise to the progenitor cells of lymphoid, myeloid as well as the erythroid lineages. An array of transcription factors (TF) and other signalling molecules control this lineage differentiation process in order to keep us healthy and immune competent. Anomaly in these TFs activity or loss of any component of the signalling pathways very often results in pathological conditions such as immunodeficiency or leukemia and lymphoma.

My lab is interested to elucidate the role of the Nuclear Factor of Activated T cell (NFAT) family TFs in HSC maintenance, differentiation of various lineages, and in the disorders that are associated with this process.

Hematopoiesis and immune cell cancer group

  • Dr Amiya Patra
  • Sabrina Giampaolo (PhD Student)
  • Gabriela Wójcik (Research Technician)



We are currently working on the following projects:

  • Molecular regulation of thymocyte differentiation, primary immunodeficiency, and leukemia development with relation to the activities of the transcription factors of NFAT family.
  • NFAT signalling in B lymphocyte development in the bone marrow and in B cell lymphopenia and leukemia.
  • Role of cytokine signalling (IL-2) in erythropoiesis and in the development of anemia.
  • NFAT and Notch signalling-mediated transcriptional and epigenetic regulation   in T-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL) development.

Research collaborators

Professor Albert Sickmann and Dr Rene P. Zahedi
Leibniz-Institute for Analytical Sciences – ISAS
Dortmund, Germany.

Professor Thomas Schüler
Institute of Molecular and Clinical Immunology
Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.

Professor Ursula Bommhardt
Institute of Molecular and Clinical Immunology
Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.

Professor Isabella Screpanti      
Department of Experimental Medicine
Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. 

Professor Volker Ellenrieder      
Department of Gastroenterology II
University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.



Professor Ugur Sahin and Dr Valesca Boisguerin
Translational Oncology (TRON)
University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany.

Dr Jean-Christophe Andrau
Institute de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier (IGMM)
Montpellier Cedex 5, France.

Dr Klaus-Peter Knobeloch
Institute of Neuropathology
University Clinic Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

Dr Andreas Beilhack
Deptartment of Internal Medicine II & Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research
University Hospital of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.