Samir Taoudi-Projects

Samir Taoudi-Projects



Molecular control of haematopoietic stem cell formation

To begin to answer the question of how haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are produced an understanding the essential molecular regulators of the stem cell state is required.

We have generated a roadmap of gene expression changes that occur during HSC development. Based on this, we have devised methods that allow us to functionally assess their requirements during normal embryogenesis. We are currently exploring a number of promising target genes that may be direct regulators of HSC development.

By teasing apart how the embryo instructs stem cell formation we should be able to recapitulate this process in the laboratory, and eventually in the clinic.

Instruction of the first haematopoietic lineage fate decisions in the early embryo

Early in embryonic life many fate choices need to be effectively made. The blood lineage is one of the first to be decided upon. However, how this happens is not yet clear.

By purifying members of the early blood ancestry, and investigating how gene expression changes, we are building a model for how this might happen. Utilising these data, this project uses in vitro and in vivo models of blood formation, and advanced microscopy techniques to determine the mechanisms of blood cell fate selection.

Towards an understanding of the in vivo mechanisms of platelet production and function in the developing embryo

The mechanism of platelet production (thrombopoiesis) and function are well established in the adult. However, their function during embryonic development is poorly understood.

We have recently discovered a unique class of platelet forming cells that transiently exists during early embryonic development. Studying these cells, termed diploid platelet forming cells, has opened up many novel avenues to investigate how platelets are being produced in vivo and to elucidate their functions.

This project makes use of advanced microscopy and gene expression techniques to understand the mechanics of thrombopoiesis in the developing organism.