Wendy Qiao

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Wendy Qiao

Supervisor: Peter Zandstra, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, collaborative traineeship supervisor: Quaid Morris

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from umbilical cord blood are valuable resources for blood transplantation. Unfortunately, the small HSC numbers per cord blood collection restrict the wide application of cord blood transplantation. The capability of qualitative and quantitative in vitro HSC expansion is therefore important for enhancing the clinical benefits of HSCs. Our previous studies showed that proper manipulation of the intercellular signaling between HSCs and other cell populations can enhance in vitro HSC expansion. However, HSC expansion culture is dynamic and heterogeneous system. To date, it is challenging to identify the key factors that we may manipulate. The goal of my project is to use computation tools to gain better understanding about the intercellular signaling between hematopoietic cells and the regulation of dynamic environment on HSC fates.

So far, we have employed microarray data and bioinformatics tools in study the intercellular signaling patterns between HSCs, progenitors and mature cells. As a next step, we seek to implement informatics or mathematical models of the dynamic regulation of environmental cues on HSC fates.

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