Unraveling the role of Dach1 in lymphocyte production

Project type

  • Honours
  • Masters by Coursework

Project details

Lymphocytes are immune cells important for the protection of the organism against external pathogens and cancer. They are produced by progenitor cells in the bone marrow called Lymphoid-primed multipotent progenitors (LMPP). These cells do not produce exclusively lymphocytes but they can become myeloid cells as well.

Our lab recently identified a subpopulation of LMPPs marked by the downregulation of a gene called Dach1 which does not produce any myeloid cells and it is very efficient in making lymphocytes (Zalcenstein et al., 2020).

This project will focus at understanding the role of Dach1 in lymphocytes production The student will learn how to isolate progenitor populations using fluorescent label antibodies, how to genetically modify them using lentiviral vectors and how to detect their output following transplantation.

About our research group

The Naik lab studies how the cells of the immune system are formed from blood stem cells. Stem and progenitor cells make ‘decisions’ in order to generate all the different immune cell types we have in our blood. We utilise new technologies that interrogate the individual cells, rather than the population as a whole to find genes that are important in helping blood stem cells deciding what cell type they will produce.

Our ultimate goal is to advance strategies for manipulating blood stem cells that may have future applications for stem cell therapy or immune therapy and provide insights into cancer formation.

Education pathways