Blood Cell Development & Disease

The Blood Cell Development and Disease laboratory uses human pluripotent stem cells to understand human development and to create models to study human disease. The team have a special interest in the development of blood cells, endothelium and diseases of the blood system. These areas are relevant to diseases such as leukaemias (cancers of the blood) and thalassemias (disorders of globin gene production). These areas of research are important because our ability to treat many diseases such as these will be enhanced by increasing knowledge of how they develop.

This is one of three stem cell laboratories at the Murdoch Children's (including those of Professor Ed Stanley and Doctor David Elliott) that are globally recognised for expertise in genetic manipulation and differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells.

Work conducted in the Blood Cell Development and Disease laboratory is focused on the biology and manipulation of human pluripotent (hESC and hiPSC) stem cells. Our core interest lies in the regulation of human pluripotent stem cell differentiation to mesendodermal precursors (corresponding to the primitive streak in the mammalian embryo) and then to blood and endothelium. These studies will help us to study leukemias and thalassemias, diseases common during childhood for which current treatments are inadequate. This increased understanding will aid the development of new treatments and contribute to the ultimate goal of developing a cure for this lifelong condition.

Group Leaders: 
Group Members: 
Dr Elizabeth Ng
Senior Research Officer
Lisa Azzola
Research Assistant
Jennifer Hollands
Honorary Fellow
Grace Lee
Lab Assistant and Honours Student
  • Haematopoietic differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells
  • Induced pluripotent stem cell models of human disease
  • Stem cell models of human development
  • Genetic manipulation of pluripotent stem cells