Sean Morrison Laboratory, the Hamon Laboratory for Stem Cell and Cancer Biology

In the News

January 2014

Jan. 22, 2014 — Scientists have known for years that stem cells in male and female sexual organs are regulated differently by their respective hormones. In a surprising discovery, researchers at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern and Baylor College of Medicine have found that stem cells in the blood-forming system — which is similar in both sexes — also are regulated differently by hormones, with estrogen proving to be an especially prolific promoter of stem cell self-renewal.

Jan. 15, 2014 — The potential for understanding how the biological setting that sustains blood-forming stem cells is involved in normal and disease physiology promises new approaches to treating blood disorders. Defining niche components and how they work together to regulate blood formation provides the opportunity to not only improve regeneration following injury or blood-forming stem cell transplantation, but also to understand how disordered niche function could contribute to disease.

Sean Morrison, Ph.D., Director of the Children’s Research Institute at UT Southwestern, has co-authored an evaluation of research on the blood-forming stem cell niche in bone marrow — the primary environment for the cells’ maintenance and self-renewal — bringing past discoveries into context and looking ahead to questions that still need to be addressed. Read the research review published in Nature.