Normal and Malignant Megakaryocyte Biology
Platelets in early detection and molecular profiling of solid tumours
Learn more about our main research themes and applications below.
DEVELOPMENT OF MEGAKARYOCYTES - PLATELET PRODUCING CELLS IN THE BONE MARROW
Studying how megakaryocytes develop and function in healthy people, and how this goes wrong in a certain type of blood cancer called ‘myeloproliferative neoplasms’ or ‘MPNs’
Application of single cell approaches to discover new ways to detect and treat myeloid blood cancers
BONE MARROW FIBROSIS
Understanding what triggers the development of bone marrow fibrosis (scarring) in a subset of patients with MPNs, and developing clinically-relevant systems to model this using primary human cells
NOVEL BONE MARROW ORGANOIDS
Development of organoids that faithfully recapitulate the cellular, molecular and architectural features of native bone marrow for disease modelling, target discovery and validation
PLATELETS AND CANCER
Studying the utility of platelets in early cancer detection
MRC WEATHERALL INSTITUTE OF MOLECULAR MEDICINE
The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (MRC WIMM) at the University of Oxford was founded in 1989 by Sir David Weatherall to foster research in molecular and cell biology, with the aim of improving human health. It houses around 400 scientists and world-class core facilities. The Molecular Haematology Unity in the MRC WIMM is focused on understanding normal and diseased blood cell production over time
LIFE IN OXFORD
Oxford is home to a world leading academic institution. It is a beautiful and vibrant city surrounded by incredible countryside and within easy reach from London.
GET IN TOUCH
We are always keen to hear from people who are interested in joining the group. We are currently looking to recruit postdocs (wet lab and computational) as well as a research assistant. Please email me at: email@example.com
BETH PSAILA, M.D., PHD
Associate Professor of Haematology, Univ. of Oxford
CRUK Advanced Clinical Scientist
Haematology Consultant, Churchill Hospital
Senior Fellow, New College Oxford
Beth is a Group Leader at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine and a haematology consultant specialising in the care of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms. Before Oxford, she trained at Clare College, Cambridge University, University College London Hospitals and The Hammersmith Hospital/Imperial College London and also spent >6 years in the US at Cornell University, New York and the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda. She has been studying megakaryocytes/platelets and haematopoiesis for >15 years, leading to a strong national and international research network. She is passionate about translational science, motivated to apply state-of-the-art techniques to better understand mechanisms of disease in her patients, identify new therapeutic strategies and develop more clinically relevant models for target validation. She enjoys mentoring, and alumni from her group have an excellent track record in securing personal fellowships, independent grant funding and positions in industry. Together with Adam Mead, she is a co-founder of Alethiomics, a recent spin-out company from the WIMM.
Outside of work, she enjoys adventures with her husband and three children, and escaping for runs around beautiful Oxford with her over-enthusiastic but surprisingly obedient cockapoo.
RONG LI, PHD
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Psaila Lab
Rong is using single cell approaches to study abnormal megakaryocyte polyploidization and mechanisms of fibrosis in myelofibrosis using primary patient cells and in vivo/in vitro systems. She has just been awarded a prestigious Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship to focus on T cell biology in MPNs, leading to a new collaboration between the Psaila lab and that of Professor Tao Dong, Human Immunology Unit, MRC WIMM.
MICHELA COLOMBO, PHD
Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund Postdoctoral Researcher
Psaila and Mead Labs
Michela is dissecting the abnormal bone marrow microenvironment in myelofibrosis using single cell approaches including scRNAseq and highly-multiplexed in situ proteomics, She has also developed a novel in vitro assay for the validation of potential inhibitors of fibrosis using primary bone marrow stromal cells from patients.
ABDULLAH KHAN, PHD
Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow
Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Birmingham
& Psaila Lab, MRC WIMM Oxford
Dr Khan is a Henry Wellcome Fellow based at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham. As part of his fellowship his research is also conducted at Boston Children’s Hospital and the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (MRC WIMM) at the University of Oxford.
Dr Khan’s background is in CRISPR gene editing and super-resolution microscopy. His current work and interests are in developing physiologically relevant, disease agnostic 3D models using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and bioprinted 3D scaffolds.
GUANLIN WANG, PHD
Postdoctoral Computational Biologist
Mead, Psaila and Thongjuea Groups
Guanlin is a senior postdoctoral computational biologist with an excellent track record in the application and development of single cell data. developing a new pipeline to use single cell RNA-sequencing datasets to identify key receptor-ligand interactions.
Lauren worked for 2 years in industry before joining the Psaila lab as a research assistant funded by CRUK and the Emerson Collective.
Last year she secured a CRUK-funded DPhil studentship and is exploring the role of platelets in early detection and molecular profiling of cancers.
Radcliffe Department of Medicine DPhil Scholar
We are looking forward to welcoming Antonio to the lab in October 2021 to start his Dphil.
Antonio graduated in biochemistry in Murcia, Spain in 2018 and was then awarded an Erasmus+ scholarship to join Professor Ouwehand's and Dr Mendez-Ferrer's labs in Cambridge. Here, he developed experience working with iPSCs and CRISPR-cas9 editing. He has also completed a masters degree in bioinformatics and biostatistics.
Lab and Clinical Trials Manager
Mead, Psaila and Jacobsen Labs
Patricia started working for Oxford University in 2012 in the Cardiovascular Division after completing her PhD in Clinical Biochemistry at Harvard Medical School.
After working a few years as Research Assistant, I transitioned into Lab Management and moved to the Wellcome Centre (DIL).
She is the Lab & Clinical Studies Manager at the WIMM for the HSCB Lab that encompasses 3 groups (Mead, Psaila, Jacobsen) in MHU.
She is in charge of procurement and grant management, day to day maintenance and liaising with facilities, H&S and managing the influx and biobanking of clinical samples. She also keeps us well supplied with tasty treats and ensures we have the most imaginative entry in the annual WIMM Lab Xmas Decor competition.
The Psaila lab works closely with the Mead lab as well as others within the Molecular Haematology Unit. We also collaborate extensively with Dr Supat Thongjuea in the WIMM Centre for Computational Biology, who has extensive expertise in single cell analysis. We enjoy regular social events, a yearly lab retreat and members of the team are all encouraged to attend relevant national/international meetings and to develop a strong research network. Group members are well supported in writing applications for independent funding and personal fellowships, and there are good opportunities for collaborations with industry.
HUMAN BONE MARROW ORGANOIDS FOR DISEASE MODELLING, DISCOVERY AND VALIDATION OF THERAPEUTIC TARGETS IN HEMATOLOGICAL MALIGNANCIES
Khan AO, Colombo, M, Reyat JS, Wang G, Rodriguez-Romera R, Wen WX, Murphy L, Grygielska B, Mahoney C, Stone A, Croft A, Bassett D, Poologasundarampillai G, Roy A, Gooding S, Rayes K, Machlus KM, Psaila B. bioRxiv 2022 https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.03.14.483815 (publication under revisions)
IN UTERO ORIGIN OF MYELOFIBROSIS PRESENTING IN ADULT MONOZYGOTIC TWINS AFTER A PROLONGED DISEASE LATENCY.
Sousos N, Leathlobhair MN, Simoglou Kaaral C, Louka E, Bienz N, Royston D, Clark SA, Hamblin A, Howard K, Matthews V, George B, Roy A, Psaila B, Edge DC, Mead AJ. Nature Medicine (in press)
DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE- AND SITE-SPECIFIC TRANSITIONS IN LINEAGE SPECIFICATION AND GENE REGULATORY NETWORKS IN HUMAN HEMATOPOIETIC STEM AND PROGENITOR CELLS
Roy, A, Wang, G, Iskander, D, O’Byrne, S, Elliott, N, O’Sullivan, J, Buck, G, Heuston, E.F, Wen, W.X, Rodriguez Meira, A., Hua, P, Karadimitris, A, Mead A.J, Bodine, D, Roberts, I, Psaila, B* & Thongjuea, S*. * - joint senior authorship with equal contribution. Cell Reports 2021
KEY PUBLICATIONS - 2021
THE IMMUNE LANDSCAPE IN BCR-ABL NEGATIVE MYELOPROLIFERATIVE NEOPLASMS: INFLAMMATION, INFECTION AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY
Strickland, M., Queck L., Psaila, B*. British Journal of Haematology in press 2021
IMPAIRED ANTIBODY RESPONSE TO COVID-19 VACCINATION IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC MYELOID BLOOD CANCERS.
Chowdhury O, Bruguier H, Mallett G, Sousos N, Crozier K, Allman C, Eyre D, Lumley S, Strickland M, Simoglou Karali C, Murphy L, Sternberg A, Jeffery K, Mead AJ, Peniket A, Psaila B*. British Journal of Haematology 2021 Jun 16.
RAPID EMERGENCE OF CHRONIC LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA DURING JAK2 INHIBITOR THERAPY IN A PATIENT WITH MYELOFIBROSIS
Sousos N, Buch G, Rodriguez-Meira A, Norfo R, Hamblin A, Pezzella F, Davies J, Hublitz P, Psaila B, Mead AJ.
Hemasphere 2020 May 27;4(3)
SINGLE-CELL ANALYSES REVEAL ABERRANT PATHWAYS FOR MEGAKARYOCYTE-BIASED HEMATOPOIESIS IN MYELOFIBROSIS AND IDENTIFY MUTANT CLONE-SPECIFIC TARGETS
Psaila B*, Wang G*, Rodriguez Meira A, Li R, O’Sullivan J, Heuston E, Anderson S, Senis Y, Voegtle T, Weinberg O, Calicchio M, Milojkovic D, Roberts I, Bodine D, Thongjuea, S*, Mead AJ*. Molecular Cell 2020 May 7th; 78:477-492
SINGLE-CELL PROFILING OF HUMAN MEGAKARYOCYTE-ERYTHROID PROGENITORS IDENTIFIES DISTINCT MEGAKARYOCYTE AND ERYTHROID DIFFERENTIATION PATHWAY.
Psaila B, Barkas, N, Iskander D, Roy, A, Anderson S, Ashley, N, Caputo, V.S, Lichtenberg, J, Loaiza, S, Bodine, D, Karadimitris A, Mead A.J., Roberts I. Genome Biology Single-cell Omics Special Edition 2016 May 3; 17:83.
IN VIVO EFFECTS OF ELTROMBOPAG ON PLATELET FUNCTION IN IMMUNE THROMBOCYTOPENIA: NO EVIDENCE OF PLATELET ACTIVATION.
Psaila B, Bussel JB, Linden MD, Babula B, Li Y, Barnard MR, Tate C, Mathur K, Frelinger AL, Michelson AD. Blood. 2012 Apr 26;119(17):4066-72.