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We are investigating the link between human fetal haematopoiesis and the origin and biology of childhood leukaemia. In particular, we are interested in the pathogenesis of infant leukaemia, which is a refractory disease that invariably originates in utero

Paediatric leukaemia research group

I joined the Department of Paediatrics at Oxford as a Clinician Scientist in Paediatric Haematology in June 2015, having initially followed a clinical career pathway in Paediatrics followed by Academic Paediatric Haematology.

The focus of my research for the last eight years has been in understanding human fetal haematopoiesis. My original research at Imperial College London (2007-2015) involved the characterisation of trisomy 21 associated perturbation of human fetal haematopoiesis. This project gave rise to several exciting questions regarding the origins and biology of childhood leukaemia and I subsequently worked further on understanding the ontogeny of human fetal B lymphoid development using immunophenotypic, functional, gene expression and xenograft assays. The results of this research point to a link between fetal lymphopoiesis and infant ALL that may be key to understanding the origins of this biologically unique leukaemia.

The main focus of my current research is to study human fetal B lymphopoiesis in order to elucidate the origins of childhood leukaemia, in particular infant ALL. More specifically, my research aims to identify and characterise the target fetal cell population for leukaemia initiation in infant ALL.  I am also a member of Prof Irene Roberts’ team trying to understand how trisomy 21 perturbs fetal haematopoiesis and its implications for Down syndrome associated and other leukaemias in children.

Our team

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