San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy

Human hematopoietic development and disease modeling

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Group Leader

Andrea Ditadi

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The Human hematopoietic development and disease modeling Unit is a young and dynamic group that focuses on an ambitious and fundamental research program integrating developmental cell and molecular biology. The overarching research goal is to understand and recapitulate normal and pathological human hematopoietic development, both at the signaling and genetic level, with a particular interest in generating blood cell products to be used in the regenerative medicine framework.

Research activity

Most of the studies harness the potential of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC; comprising human embryonic stem cells - hESC - and induced pluripotent stem cells - hiPSC).
  1. The group will model hematopoietic development to understand the sequence of events that promotes the generation of hematopoietic stem cells. Researchers will investigate the molecular mechanisms regulating human hematopoietic commitment and lineage specification using hPSC as well as mouse PSCs and embryos as model systems.
  2. The group will exploit hiPSCs derived from patient affected by hematopoietic disorders to identify the genetic requirements of specific critical stages of the development of the immune system and investigate the molecular mechanisms at the onset of these hematological diseases, representing the ultimate frontier of functional genetics.
Collectively, these studies will provide new opportunities to study the genetic origins for blood disorders and to develop novel strategies for their treatment, including their application for cell therapy in the frame of regenerative medicine.