Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Progress Report: February 2018 
prostate cancer
An article in The New York Times features the latest research from HSCI principal faculty member Pier Paolo Pandolfi, which links dietary fat with aggressive prostate cancer. In mice with a certain genetic background that predisposed them to prostate cancer, tumors spread beyond the prostate only when the animals were fed a high-fat diet. Motivated by these results, Pandolfi is planning a clinical trial to test whether an obesity drug which blocks fat production can treat prostate cancer.

HSCI principal faculty members Suneet Agarwal and David Sykes have been awarded the 2018 Harrington Scholar-Innovator Award. The award is given to physician-scientists in order to accelerate early scientific discoveries into the clinic. Agarwal's research focuses on diseases of the telomere--a region of DNA which protects the ends of chromosomes but deteriorates over time--while Sykes is developing potential treatments for leukemia.

blood cells
In a recent study led by principal faculty member Fernando Camargo, HSCI researchers used genetic barcodes to label blood system stem cells in mice. After tagging the cells, the researchers tracked them during the process of natural blood production and characterized how the stem cells differentiate into specialized blood cells.  The results contribute to the field's understanding of blood cell biology and could inform the development of gene therapy technologies.