Leukaemia is a clonal disease initiated from a very small number of pre-leukaemic stem cells (pre-LSCs) carrying the initiating genetic events, which subsequently convert to full blown LSCs by acquiring further mutations necessary for the overt diseases such as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Emerging evidence indicates that pathways critical for regulation of normal stem cells are frequently hijacked or mutated in LSCs.
This group is led by Professor Eric So, who is funded by the partner organisations including CRUK, Blood Cancer UK, KKLF, and UGC. The group is interested in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the oncogenic conversion of normal cells into AML stem cells, and how cellular and molecular heterogeneity influence the biology and treatment responses of the disease. Currently, we have particular focuses on transcriptional/epigenetic regulation and DNA damage responses. Our ultimate goal is to develop novel and more effective therapeutic strategies for the corresponding human diseases.