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Edward F. Srour, Ph.D.

Robert J. and Annie S. Rohn Professor of Leukemia Research
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
Director of Flow Cytometry Resource Facility

Summary of the focus of research

Stem cell biology including cells of hematopoietic origin and candidate adult pluripotent stem cells from other tissues as well as cancer stem cells with special focus on stem cells in multiple myeloma.

Description and summary of research focus of the laboratory

Research in Dr. Srour’s laboratory has focused on the characterization and biology of human and murine hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), their use in bone marrow transplantation, and how stem cell fate determination is impacted by exogenous factors. Successful transplantation and engraftment of HSC are dependent on the cell cycle status of transplanted stem cells and their ability to home to the bone marrow of mice receiving these cells, and on the competence of the hematopoietic niche in supporting the survival and proliferation of HSC. Therefore, studies in the Srour laboratory are aimed at understanding how these parameters, individually, and collectively, impact selfrenewal, proliferation, differentiation, and fate of HSC.

Ongoing projects

1)    Examination of the relationship between cell cycle status of primitive hematopoietic progenitor cells and its effect on engraftment and maintenance of bone marrow repopulating potential. Our laboratory documented that following transplantation, HSC remain quiescent in the bone marrow for a long period of time. The reasons behind this delayed cell cycle activation is not known but is believed to be a protective measure HSC undertake in a hostile microenvironment. Using a murine model of transplantation, the laboratory is examining cell cycle regulation in marrow homed cells after they anchor to either the endothelial or the endosteal regions of the marrow microenvironment. 

2)    In a collaborative effort, the Srour laboratory is trying to define how different cellular and matrix elements of the hematopoietic microenvironment control stem cell maintenance through self-renewal divisions and differentiation and ultimately the size of the stem cell pool. Because of their importance in the architecture of the hematopoietic niche, these studies examine in detail the nature of osteoblasts with which HSC interact in the niche and try to identify the hierarchical arrangement of osteoblastic progenitors in this lineage. The laboratory described recently a unique interaction between osteoblasts and adipocytes whereby the latter suppresses the hematopoiesis enhancing activity promoted by the former. Therefore efforts are now underway to characterize the molecular pathways involved in these antagonizing effects of osteoblasts and adipocytes in the hematopoietic niche.

3)    Multiple myeloma (MM) represents a unique cancer in which cancer stem cells reside in the bone marrow, and most likely interact intimately with osteoblasts present in the hematopoietic microenvironment. In a collaborative effort, the laboratory is examining the role of a new marker in the pathobiology of MM and the bone loss associated with this disease, and in investigating whether targeting this molecule will inhibit MM cells both in vitro and in vivo using a murine model of the disease.

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  • B.Sc., 1979: American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Ingenieur Agricole., 1979: American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  • M.Sc., 1981: American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Ph.D., 1986: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • Post Doctoral, 1986-1989: Indiana University

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