The Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology Postdoctoral Fellow Award

Tue, 08/02/2011 - 7:05pm

The Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology has named Camille Lobry, Ph.D., as the 2011 Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Senior Fellow in Stem Cell Biology.   This fellowship is awarded annually to NYU's most promising post-doctoral researchers in the area of stem cell biology. Camille is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Iannis Aifantis in the Department of Pathology and works on the regulation of stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, and transformation. In the Aifantis Lab, Camille has been working on the Notch signaling pathway and its influence on physiologic maintenance of Hematopoietic stem cells and early progenitor cells and its role in the transformation of those cells to leukemia.

Using genetic mouse models of Notch loss of function, Camille has been able to show that inhibition of Notch signaling in early hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells leads to a myeloproliferative disorder reminiscent of the human pathology Chronic Myelo-monocytic Leukemia (CMML). He has illustrated that Notch signaling negatively regulates myeloid differentiation at a very early stage by inhibiting key myeloid differentiation genes such as Cebpa and Pu.1. The Notch target Hes1 mediates most of these effects.  Furthermore, in collaboration with Dr. Ross Levine’s laboratory in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Camille has identified novel loss-of-function mutations of Notch signaling in CMML patients linking phenotypes observed in mouse models to actual human pathology. The work shows, for the first time, that Notch signaling can play both an oncogenic and a tumor suppressor role during Hematopoietic stem cell differentiation. It also leads to the intriguing hypothesis that specialized “Notch niches” exist within the bone marrow that instruct the fate of hematopoietic stem cells. This work has recently been published in Nature (Klinakis, Lobry et al, Nature 473, 2011).

During his Kimmel Stem Cell fellowship, Camille plans to use new genetic tools to address the localization and organization of the putative “Notch niches” in the bone marrow and study how they regulate the maintenance, self-renewal, and fate decisions of hematopoietic stem cells.

The Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology post-doctoral fellows program is designed to provide additional sources of support for more senior post-doctoral fellows who are preparing for an independent research career in stem cell biology. The fellowships are supported generously from funds provided to the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology by Mrs. Helen L. Kimmel and her late husband, Martin S. Kimmel.