Laboratory of Developmental Immunology and Hematopoiesis
The major goal of Lacorazza’s lab is to better understand the molecular control of normal and malignant hematopoiesis and the development of immunological memory (Figure 1). We study genes that control the balance between quiescence, a non-proliferative state poised to re-enter the cell cycle, and differentiating proliferation in hematopoietic stem cells. We then investigate how these genes are deregulated during leukemogenesis, acquisition of chemoresistance in leukemic stem cells and the pathobiology and targeted therapy of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemias. My laboratory is also studying the role of proliferation brakes in the differentiation of effector T cells and conversion to memory T cells using hematopoietic stem cells as a paradigm.
Our specific projects are:
(1) Control of quiescence in hematopoietic stem cells
(2) Development and function of T cells and immunological memory
(3) Pathobiology and therapy of acute lymphoblastic leukemias
These studies are relevant for immunological recovery post cytoablative treatments (i.e. chemodrugs or radiation therapy), bone marrow transplantation, cell-based therapy, long-lasting immunity after vaccination, leukemogenesis, and development of new therapies using pre-clinical mouse models.