The SCC-RI celebrates its 10th anniversary
this year. Yes it has been 10 years since the
generous donation of Michael G. DeGroote
made it possible to establish a leading-edge
research institute at McMaster dedicated to the
investigation of stem cells and cancer.
There have been many significant discoveries
over the past 10 years, and this past year has
been no exception. Recently, Dr. Kristin Hope
and her lab published their first major study
in the leading science journal Nature. This
work represents an important step forward in
overcoming the obstacles to providing stem cell
transplants to more patients that desperately need
Dr. Mick Bhatia, the SCC-RI Director, and his
team have had many seminal discoveries over the
last decade. Their latest work, published in the
journal Cancer Cell, demonstrates that early and
accurate prediction of acute myeloid leukemia in
MDS patients is possible. This discovery provides
a new tool to better predict disease progression
and outcomes for patients.
Neither of these studies would have been
possible without the hard work and dedication of
student and postdoctoral scientists. Biochemistry
students continue to represent the largest group
of trainees actively working to solve some of
the most complex and interesting biological
questions currently being investigated in the SCC-RI’s innovative research laboratories.
We encourage everyone to keep an eye out for
the official launch of the SCC-RI’s new website in
the coming months. We would also like to thank
our loyal readership of the SCC-RI Blog and hope
Biochem students continue to share our stories
with friends at McMaster University and beyond.
Our faculty looks forward to teaching and
training future scientists to prepare them for the
exciting challenges of biomedical research.
Mick Bhatia, PhD
Professor and Scientific Director,
Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute
Report from the Director | Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute
High impact papers:
The Bhatia lab showed that deletion of GSK alpha and beta
isoforms from haemopoetic stem cells leads
to development of an aggressive form of
leukemia, AML. Loss of the beta isoform
alone led to a pre-neoplastic state similar to
that seen in humans, and that information
allowed them to develop a tool to predict
disease progression and survival in patients
with similar cellular changes. Guezguez B, Almakadi M, Benoit YD,
Shapovalova Z, Rahmig S, Fiebig-Comyn A, Casado FL, Tanasijevic
B, Bresolin S, Masetti R, Doble BW, Bhatia M. GSK3 Deficiencies
in Hematopoietic Stem Cells Initiate Pre-neoplastic State that Is
Predictive of Clinical Outcomes of Human Acute Leukemia.
Cancer Cell. 2016 Jan 11; 29( 1):61-74
The Hope lab showed recently that human blood (haemopoetic)
stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood
can be expanded by manipulating their self-
renewal capacity using the RNA binding protein
Musahsi2. Their study helped give insight into
the RNA networks controlled by RNA-binding
proteins that underlie self-renewal and showed
that manipulating those networks enhances the
regenerative potential of human HSCs. Rentas S, Holzapfel N, Belew
M, Pratt G, Voisin V, Bader G, Wilhelm B, Yeo G, Hope KJ. Musashi2
Attenuates AHR Signaling to Expand Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells.
Nature 532, 508–511, 2016.pubmed/27121842
ceremony, from left, David
Braley, Michael G. DeGroote,
Mick Bhatia, John Kelton.
work in the lab.