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Unit profile


The production of blood cells, hematopoiesis, is maintained by a small number of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that have the capacity to differentiate into all hematopoietic lineages, and at the same time self-renew to maintain the HSC pool. Similarly to normal hematopoiesis, leukemias are organized in cellular hierarchies where leukemic stem cells (LSCs) drive tumor growth. LSCs have stem cell characteristics such as self-renewal capacity, quiescence and drug resistance, causing metastasis and relapse. LSCs are therefore a critical priority as targets for therapy. Our objective is to use single-cell methods to dissect the heterogeneity of stem cell populations and discriminate between HSCs and LSCs. This will allow for defining the transcriptional programs that govern HSC fate and explain the molecular basis for leukemogenesis as well as therapy resistance. Ultimately we will use this information to therapeutically target LSCs and thereby improve the treatment of leukemia.


Göran Karlsson is Research Group Leader for this research group

UKÄ subject classification

  • Cancer and Oncology

Free keywords

  • Hematopoiesis
  • Leukemia
  • Stem Cells
  • Single-Cell Analysis

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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