The Trowbridge laboratory is located at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. We focus on understanding the biology of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which sustain the mammalian blood system throughout life. Analogous populations of transformed leukemia stem cells (LSCs) have been identified that are required to sustain many types of blood cancer in both humans and mice.
Our laboratory strives to identify the similarities and differences between HSCs and LSCs at the epigenetic level (including regulation by DNA methylation, histone modifications and chromatin remodeling factors), to develop novel strategies for cancer therapy that will specifically target LSCs while sparing normal HSCs. Our recent work has discovered that HSCs and LSCs are uniquely regulated by DNA methylation, one of the epigenetic modifications that is deregulated in a significant proportion of human leukemias. Our laboratory is working to uncover the precise molecular processes regulated by epigenetic machinery that define HSCs and LSCs, and how these may be capitalized upon for targeted leukemia therapy.