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Reprogramming Blood Cell Lineages
Wednesday, August 25, 2010,
3:00:00 PM Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
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NCRM (NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine) Lecture
Thomas Graf became interested in the effects of genes on differentiation early on in his career. Originally a virologist, he co-discovered several avian acute leukemia oncogenes (myc, myb and erb) and developed in vitro cell transformation systems that exhibited the same lineage specificity as in the animal. He showed that a differentiation block is an essential feature of leukemogenesis and that at least two oncogenes need to cooperate to cause acute leukemia. Using a surrogate adult stem cell system, which he developed with leukemic avian cells, he was able to reprogram committed erythroid and myeloid cells first with signal transducing agents and later with lineage specific transcription factors. This led to the discovery of the GATA-1: PU.1 paradigm and to the concept that transcription factor antagonisms and synergisms play a critical role in cell fate decisions. More recently he has shown that a single specific transcription factor can reprogram committed lymphoid cells into macrophages at surprisingly high efficiencies and short time spans. He is currently studying this model system to elucidate how one cell fate is extinguished while a new one is established.
Thomas Graf is of Austrian-German origin and was raised in Venezuela. After doing his postdoc at Duke University he started his independent career at the Max Planck Institute in Tuebingen, before moving as a professor to the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and as a Program Coordinator to the European Molecular Laboratory in Heidelberg. In 1998 he moved to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and returned to Europe in Oct. 2006. He is currently the Coordinator of the Differentiation and Cancer Programme at the Center for Genomic Regulation and an ICREA professor in Barcelona, Spain. He has received several biomedical research awards, including the Paul Ehrlich prize, helped organizing numerous conferences, is an elected member of EMBO, Academia Europaea and the Board of Directors of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and serves on the editorial board of two stem cell journals.
Reprogramming blood cell lineages / Thomas Graf, PhD, Center for Genomic Regulation and ICREA Professor, Barcelona, Spain.