Leukaemia stem cells are located in a patient’s bone marrow (shown here in blue) in the so-called stem cell niche. The green structure is the bone itself. © Raphael Lutz, HI-STEM/DKFZ

The LeukoSyStem consortium, which is coordinated by HI-STEM group leader Simon Haas, investigates leukaemia stem cells in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) financially supports this collaboration with a total sum of €2.45 M for five years as part of its eMED program on systems medicine. LeukoSystem is a collaboration between junior researchers, namely Dr. Simon Raffel (Heidelberg University Hospital), Lars Velten (CRG Barcelona), Laleh Haghverdi (EMBL Heidelberg) and Simon Haas (HI-STEM gGmbH and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)).

The aim of their project is to investigate the cells that are the origin of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and thus "get to the root of the problem". The scientists intend to use isolated single cells from patient samples to investigate characteristic markers, mutations, functional data, and metabolic pathways, to gain a better understanding of leukaemia stem cells and their environment in the bone marrow. The collected data will be evaluated comprehensively with the help of computer algorithms specially developed for the purpose.

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