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University of Oxford

I am performing experiments to find out how treating a specific type of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML, a type of aggressive blood cancer) cells with a new group of drugs called IDH inhibitors re-programmes them to behave more like normal blood cells.  If we can understand how this can happen, it may help us design new treatments for a wider range of leukaemias. The experiments involve treating AML cells in a petri dish with IDH inhibitors, and then monitoring the cells are they change from immature leukaemia cells (also called leukaemic progenitors) to mature, differentiated blood cells.  Samples of cells are collected as they change, for a variety of analyses to study the control mechanisms that cause genes to be more or less expressed.  I am requesting access to immature bone marrow progenitor cells collected from donors who are not known to have any blood disease (‘normal’ healthy donors).  These normal progenitors have many similarities to leukaemic progenitors, but differ in that they are able to mature and differentiate normally without the need for drug treatment. I will use these normal cells as ‘controls’ for the same experiments as are being performed on leukaemia cells so that I am able to compare what happens in leukaemia versus what normally occurs when immature bone marrow cells change to become mature cells themselves.