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Every day, stem cells in our bone marrow produce over 2 billion new red blood cells through a complex and highly regulated process. NYBC scientists Xiuli An, MD, PhD, Head, Laboratory of Membrane Biology and Associate Member, LFKRI and Mohandas Narla, DSc, Vice President, Research and Head, Laboratory of Red Cell Physiology, are amongst the pioneers in developing novel techniques to study the development of red blood cells from stem cells, a process known as erythropoiesis. 


In a paper published in Blood, the highest ranking hematology journal, their research groups—in collaboration with Christopher Hillyer, MD, President and CEO, NYBC and several investigators in China—have now identified a novel molecular pathway involving components of the cell cycle and the master regular gene, GATA-1 that controls erythropoiesis. The new findings have broad implication for future identification of drug targets to increase red blood cell numbers in humans with red cell production defects as well as to improve protocols that are currently being developed to produce red blood cells ex vivo.