Researcher Talks: Professor Bertie Gӧttgens on blood stem cells
Bertie Gӧttgens is Professor of Molecular Haematology at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. He describes his Bloodwise-funded research project which examines why blood stem cells make certain decisions.
“I'm Professor of Molecular Haematology at the University of Cambridge where I run a research group where we are really fascinated by the question of better understanding how the cells in our body make decisions in particular blood stem cells.
Blood stem cells are required to regenerate, in our bodies, the blood cells for the entirety of our lifetime. When these decision making processes go wrong it can have grave consequences. This includes the development of leukaemia or blood cancer in a patient.
We want to find out what happens – why do they make the wrong types of decisions? And when we find out, or as we are finding out, how these wrong decisions come about, it gives us new ideas to develop targeted treatments of how we might be able to intervene and reset those decision making processes back to the normal situation.
In my group, we trained a lot of young scientists and doctors. They will be able to go back into the hospitals on the wards and provide first-hand treatment to patients with blood cancer. They’ve also been trained in the absolute state-of-the-art science that's behind everything that we're trying to do to give the best treatments that would be available to patients.
We're therefore extremely grateful to all the fundraisers who over the years have raised the funds that have allowed us to do this. We also have members of my group who have over the years,contributed to fundraising here in Cambridge and also elsewhere in the country.”