Research Group Experimental Hematology

Mick Milsom
Senior Group Leader

  • Congratulations to Dr. Susi Lux

    Congratulations to Dr. Susi Lux, whose abstract "Genetic rescue of of Fanca-/- HSPCs with Evi-1 overexpression suggests a mechanistic link with DNA damage response" has been accepted as an oral presentation at the forthcoming European School of Hematology Translational Research Conference: "Bone Marrow Failure Disorders - from the cell to the cure of the disease". The conference will take place on a virtual platform from the 13th to the 15th of November.

  • Congratulations to Esther Rodriguez

    Congratulations to Esther Rodriguez, who has been awarded a DKFZ International Graduate School fellowship to fund the duration of her PhD research project in the group. Esther's PhD. project will be focused on assessing HSC functional potential using single cell transplantations in combination with mathematical modeling, which forms part of a collaboration with the group of Prof. Thomas Höfer, also at the DKFZ.

  • New work online at bioRxiv


    New work from the Milsom lab now available on bioRxiv "Hematopoietic stem cells fail to regenerate following inflammatory challenge."


    Ruzhica Bogeska, Paul Kaschutnig, Malak Fawaz, Ana-Matea Mikecin, Marleen Buechler-Schaeff, Stella Paffenholz, Noboru Asada, Felix Frauhammer, Florian Buettner, Melanie Ball, Julia Knoch, Sina Staeble, Dagmar Walter, Amelie Petri, Martha J Carreno-Gonzalez, Vinona Wagner, Benedikt Brors, Simon Haas, Daniel B Lipka, Marieke A.G. Essers, Tim Holland-Letz, Jan-Philipp Mallm, Karsten Rippe, Paul S Frenette, Michael A Rieger, Michael D Milsom
    Hematopoietic stem cells fail to regenerate following inflammatory challenge.

    bioRxiv 2020.08.01.230433; doi: 10.1101/2020.08.01.230433


    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are canonically defined by their capacity to maintain the HSC pool via self-renewal divisions. However, accumulating evidence suggests that HSC function is instead preserved by sustaining long-term quiescence. Here, we study the kinetics of HSC recovery in mice, following an inflammatory challenge that induces HSCs to exit dormancy. Repeated inflammatory challenge resulted in a progressive depletion of functional HSCs, with no sign of later recovery. Underlying this observation, label retention experiments demonstrated that self-renewal divisions were absent or extremely rare during challenge, as well as during any subsequent recovery period. While depletion of functional HSCs held no immediate consequences, young mice exposed to inflammatory challenge developed blood and bone marrow hypocellularity in old age, similar to elderly humans. The progressive, irreversible attrition of HSC function demonstrates that discreet instances of inflammatory stress can have an irreversible and therefore cumulative impact on HSC function, even when separated by several months. These findings have important implications for our understanding of the role of inflammation as a mediator of dysfunctional tissue maintenance and regeneration during ageing.

  • Milsom group members presenting at the annual meeting of the European Hematology Association

    EHA25 Virtual

    Three scientists from the Division of Experimental Hematology will present their work at the annual meeting of the European Hematology Association, which will take place in June as a virtual conference due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Sina Stäble will record an oral presentation on "COMBINED SINGLE-CELL DNA METHYLOME AND TRANSCRIPTOME ANALYSIS FACILITATES DECONVOLUTION OF HEMATOPOIETIC COMMITMENT DECISIONS” that will be available to stream during the meeting, and up to the end of October. She will also participate in a live question and answer panel discussion during the meeting.

    Megan Druce will present an ePoster with audio narrative on "ASSESSMENT OF MUTATION BURDEN IN HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELL CLONES AS A RESULT OF AGING AND INFLAMMATORY STRESS” which is a collaboration between the Division of Experimental Hematology and the group of Inigo Martincorena at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge. Megan will also record an oral presentation that will be broadcast as part of the Young EHA Workshop that takes place before the main meeting. 

    Ana-Matea Mikecin will also present an ePoster at the meeting, focussed on her study of the effect of different forms of stress on hematopoietic stem cell biology: "HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELLS SUSTAIN MATURE BLOOD CELL PRODUCTION DURING STRESS HEMATOPOIESIS ON THE EXPENSE OF SELF-RENEWAL."

  • Short Talk at EMBL Conference for Megan Druce

     Advances in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine EMBL Conference

    Congratulations to Megan Druce. Her abstract, “Assessment of mutation burden in hematopoietic stem cell clones as a result of ageing and inflammatory stress” has been selected for a short talk at the forthcoming EMBL conference on Advances in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, in March. The group will also be represented with poster presentations from Marleen Büchler, Ana-Matea Mikecin and Stephan Krämer (collaboration with the Lipka group).


  • Mick elected into representative roles within both EHA and ASH.

    Mick Milsom has recently been elected as a chair of the Molecular Hematopiesis Workshop of the European Hematology Association (EHA) and also as a member of the Scientific Committee on Bone Marrow Failure of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). Both roles involve the organisation of content for the annual scientific meetings of each society.

  • Abstract Achievement Awards at the Anual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology

    Ruzhica Bogeska at ASH 2019

    Congratulations to Ruzhica Bogeska and Sina Stäble, whose abstracts have both been selected for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, which will be held in Orlando, Florida, in December. Both Ruzhica and Sina have been given prestigious Abstract Achievement Awards to help offset the costs of travel to the meeting in Orlando.

    Ruzhica’s abstract, "No Evidence for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Self-Renewal in-Vivo Following Inflammatory Challenge” has been awarded an oral presentation, while Sina’s abstract, "Deconvolution of Hematopoietic Commitment Decisions By Genome-Wide Analysis of Progressive DNA Methylation Changes”, will be presented at a poster.

  • Congratulations to Susanne Lux

    DKFZ Postdoc Program

    Susi has been awarded a DKFZ Postdoctoral Fellowship to support her time working in the lab.

  • Sina Stäble selected as oral presenter at the Annual Meeting of the European Hematology Association (EHA) in Amsterdam

    Congratulations to Sina Stäble. Her abstract, “Deconvolution of hematopoietic commitment decisions by genome-wide analysis of progressive DNA methylation changes”, has been selected for oral presentation at the annual meeting of the European Hematology Association (EHA), which will take place from June 13th-16th in Amsterdam. Sina’s project forms part of a long-standing collaboration between the laboratories of Mick Milsom and Daniel Lipka, from the Division of Cancer Epigenomics at the DKFZ.

  • The MPN foundation grant has been renewed

    Following an annual appraisal of our progress, we are happy to announce that the MPN Foundation has decided to renew our project funding for one additional year. The funding supports a collaborative research project between the HI-STEM Experimental Hematology Group, and the groups of Dr. Steven Lane at the Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Brisbane, Australia, and Ann Mullally at the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA.

  • Ruzhica Bogeska to give talk at European School of Hematology’s 3rd Scientific Workshop

    Dr. Ruzhica Bogeska has been selected to give a talk at the European School of Hematology’s 3rd Scientific Workshop on "The Hematological Microenvironment and its Therapeutic Targeting", which will be held at the Francis Crick Institute in London on February 24-26th 2019. The Workshop features talks from internationally renowned experts in normal and malignant hematology and will be a great opportunity for Ruzhica to showcase her work on the impact of inflammatory stress on hematopoietic stem cell function.

    Further details at



  • Sina Stäble to give talk at GSCN Conference

    Congratulations to Sina Stäble on being awarded a talk at the forthcoming annual conference of the German Stem Cell Network, which will take place in September.


    Ms. Stäbles abstract titled "Unidirectional and progressive DNA methylation changes define hematopoietic lineage commitment" has been selected for an oral presentation at the 6th GSCN Conference in Heidelberg (19.-21.9.2018), Session Computational Stem Cell Biology on Wednesday, 19 Sept. 14:30 - 16:00 h.

    Further details at

  • Julius Gräsel to give short talk at Behr Symposium

    Julius was selected to present at the International Behr-Symposium on Stem Cells and Cancer (Heidelberg, Sept. 16-19), which is organized by HI-STEM.

    Further details at


  • Travel Award to Julius Gräsel

    Congratulations to Julius Gräsel, who has just been awarded an oral presentation at the 30th Annual International Scientific Symposium of the Fanconi Anemia Research Foundation, which will take place in Newport Beach California in September. Based on the evaluation of Julius’ submitted abstract, his travel costs will be reimbursed by the Research Foundation.

  • Ruzhica Bogeska to present at Basel Stem Cell Network

    Congratulations to Ruzhica Bogeska, whose abstract has been selected for oral presentation at the Basel Stem Cell Meeting, “Stem cell dynamics throughout life: from development to the adult”. The meeting will take place in August in Basel.

  • Sina Stäble awarded the DKFZ/Weizmann Institute Fellowship

    Big congratulations to Sina Stäble, who was awarded a DKFZ/Weizmann Institute Cancer TRAX PhD-to Postdoc Fellowship. The award will fund an additional two year’s of research for Sina, as she continues to work on a combined project between the Division of Experimental Hematology and the Division of Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors, co-supervised by Mick and Daniel Lipka. The Fellowship will also fund a six month research visit to the laboratory of Amos Tanay, at the Weizmann Institute in Israel.

  • Jeyan Jeyarajan awarded the DKFZ/Helmholtz Graduate Fellowship

    Congratulations to Jeyan Jeyarajan, who has been awarded a fellowship from the DKFZ Helmholtz International Graduate School to fund the duration of her research studies within the group.

  • Project grant from the DFG

    The Division of Experimental Hematology, has just been awarded a four year project grant as part of the third renewal of the SFB873 Collaborative Research Centre on Stem Cell Biology. The funding mechanism from the DFG, supports a Heidelberg-based consortium focussed on studying the maintenance and differentiation of stem cells in development and disease. The project grant is a direct collaboration between the Division of Experimental Hematology and the Stress-Induced Activation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells Research Group, headed by Dr. Marieke Essers, which will start in July 2018.

  • Marleen Büchler awarded the DKFZ/Helmholtz Graduate Fellowship

    Congratulations to Marleen Büchler, who has been awarded a fellowship from the DKFZ Helmholtz International Graduate School to fund the duration of her research studies within the group.

  • New Review in Cell Stem Cell: Causes and Consequences of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Heterogeneity

    Classically, stem and progenitor populations have been considered discrete homogeneous populations. However, recent technological advances have revealed significant hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) heterogeneity, with evidence for early HSC lineage segregation and the presence of lineage-biased HSCs and lineage-restricted progenitors within the HSC compartment. These and other findings challenge many aspects of the classical view of HSC biology.

    In our recent review in Cell Stem Cell, we analyse the most recent findings regarding the causes and consequences of HSC heterogeneity, discuss their far-reaching implications, and suggest that so-called continuum-based models may help consolidate apparently divergent experimental observations in this field.

    Read more: