Personal profile


Associate Professor


The goal of my research is to understand how the hematopoietic system develops during embryogenesis. I am particularly fascinated by the role transient developmental programs play in establishing lifelong hematopoiesis, and the heterogeneity found within these cells. I obtain these insights by studying gene expression during both murine embryonic development and the directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. Through this, I aim to develop a reliable and robust method to generate hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from human pluripotent stem cells, a major goal for regenerative medicine. I have developed novel stem cell differentiation approaches to uncover the mechanisms regulating hematopoietic specification. This ultimately led to my demonstration of a pivotal role for WNT and ACTIVIN signaling in the specification of different hematopoietic progenitors from human pluripotent stem cells, which also serves as the underlying scientific premise to my ongoing research. Further, I was able to use this system to demonstrate the mechanistic basis for human definitive hematopoietic specification via CDX4, establish a tractable platform for the study of dyskeratosis congenita and its progression to bone marrow failure and leukemia, and uncover the potential of embryonic hematopoietic programs to give rise to potently cytotoxic natural killer cells. I now aim, in my research at Mount Sinai, to leverage this system for disease modeling, a source of novel adoptive immunotherapy cell products, and to understand human hematopoietic development. For more information, please visit


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