Rebekka Schneider Group
Hematopoietic stem cells; leukemia; bone marrow failure; myelodysplastic syndrome; myeloproliferative neoplasms; genetic fate tracing; CRISPR-Cas9; scRNA sequencing
Our primary focus is disease-oriented laboratory investigation of clonal myeloid neoplasms, employing a range of genomic technologies as well as classical cellular and molecular biology experimental approaches. We are particularly interested in dissecting the interaction between hematopoietic cells and the bone marrow niche, in both steady state and myeloid neoplasms. We focus on the role of genetic haploinsufficiency in hematopoietic stem cell biology and targeted therapy of del(5q) myelodysplastic syndrome (Schneider et al. Cancer Cell 2014; Schneider et al. Nature Medicine 2016).
One major achievement of our lab has been the identification of fibrosis-driving cells in primary myelofibrosis (PMF). PMF is an incurable blood cancer that leads to the continuous replacement of blood forming cells in the bone marrow by scar tissue, ultimately leading to failure of the body to produce blood cells and to death (Schneider et al. Cell Stem Cell 2017). Our recent key finding of Gli1+ cells as fibrosis-driving cells puts us in the unique position to 1) dissect the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the fibrotic transformation, 2) define the stepwise disease evolution by genetic fate tracing and analysis of the previously unknown critical effector cells of BM fibrosis and 3) to understand early forms of BM fibrosis for improved diagnostics in patients, all with the ultimate aim to identify novel therapeutic targets to directly block the cellular and molecular changes occurring in BM fibrosis.