Proteins’ role in red blood cell production underestimated—until now

Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Imagine compensating for shortages in blood donations by growing blood in a lab. Or, discovering a way for those with blood diseases to regenerate their own stores of blood.

These are some of the exciting implications behind new findings out of the Marjorie Brand lab at the University of uOttawa Faculty of Medicine, published in their recent paper in Molecular Cell.

The study reveals new principles of gene regulation in erythropoiesis (the production of red blood cells), as well as a more accurate technique for exploring cell fate and a new model for researchers to follow—big news for anyone studying how a stem cell decides to become a red blood cell.

“Our work has important implications in the study of blood diseases, lab-grown blood and more,” says Dr. Brand, a professor in the Department of Medicine and a senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital.

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