Boris Reizis, PhD

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Professor of Pathology

Professor of Medicine

Ph.D., 1998 The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Reizis Lab
Hematopoiesis, immune system development, leukemia, autoimmunity

Contact Information

New York University School of Medicine

550 First Avenue, Medical Science Buliding 5th Floor

New York, N.Y. 10016

Phone: (646) 501 0614

Function of hematopoietic stem cells in the steady state and during leukemogenesis

Stem cells manifest a unique capacity to differentiate into various cell types while maintaining their own number in an undifferentiated state. Thus, a single hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) can regenerate the entire blood system, enabling the life-saving bone marrow transplantation procedure. Paradoxically, the role and properties of HSC during normal blood production (hematopoiesis) in unirradiated organisms remain controversial. We have developed genetic systems that identify and trace HSC, and showed that these cells are indeed a major source of adult hematopoiesis. We are now combining these genetic tools with high-dimensional techniques such as single-cell RNA sequencing, multicolor flow cytometry and immunochemistry to characterize HSC differentiation in time and space. We are also developing novel tools to enable clonal analysis of HSC differentiation and of hematopoiesis in general. Finally, we are analyzing the process of leukemia development, including the effect of specific leukemia-associated molecular lesions on HSC and the function of HSC during malignant transformation. In addition to HSC biology, the lab is studying development and function of dendritic cells, the key sentinel cells of the immune system; and mechanisms of immunological tolerance and its breakdown in systemic autoimmune diseases.


Ongoing projects include:

• High-dimensional analysis of HSC differentiation  • Visualization and analysis of endogenous HSC in the bone marrow • Clonal analysis of hematopoiesis • Regulation of HSC differentiation into dendritic cells • Malignant transformation of HSC in leukemia development

Selected Publications: 

•Galan-Caridad JM, Harel S, Arenzana TL, Hou ZE, Doetsch FK, Mirny LA, Reizis B. Zfx controls the self-renewal of embryonic and hematopoietic stem cells. Cell 2007 Apr 20;129(2):345-57.

•Cisse B, Caton ML, Lehner M, Maeda T, Scheu S, Locksley R, Holmberg D, Zweier C, den Hollander NS, Kant SG, Holter W, Rauch A, Zhuang Y, Reizis B. Transcription factor E2-2 is an essential and specific regulator of plasmacytoid dendritic cell development. Cell 2008 Oct. 3;135(1):37-48.

•Weisberg SP, Smith-Raska MR, Esquilin JM, Zhang J, Arenzana TL, Lau CM, Chirchill M, Pan H, Klinakis A, Dixon JE, Mirny LA, Mukherjee S, Reizis B. ZFX controls the propagation and prevents differentiation of acute T-lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia. Cell Reports 2014 Feb 13;6(3):528-40.

•Lau CM, Nish SA, Yogev N, Waisman A, Reiner SL, Reizis B. Leukemia-associated activating mutation of Flt3 expands dendritic cells and alters T cell responses. J Exp Med. 2016 Mar 7;213(3):415-31.

•Sawai CM, Babovic S, Upadhaya S, Knapp DJHF, Lavin Y, Lau CM, Goloborodko A, Feng J, Fujisaki J, Ding L, Mirny LA, Merad M, Eaves CJ, Reizis B. Hematopoietic stem cells are the major source of multilineage hematopoiesis in adult animals. Immunity 2016 Sep 20;45(3):597-609.