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Janhavi Apte


Research Assistant

Human and mouse embryonic stem cells and their differentiation into HSCs

I did my MSc in Stem cell technology at the University of Nottingham (2015-16). My research project, under Dr. Anna Grabowska, focussed on creating 3D models of the human brain in a high throughput format as a model for drug screening. I worked at the Children’s brain tumour centre in Queens medical centre (Nottingham) and was involved with in vitro analysis of ketogenic diet based therapy by targeting brain tumour models in a high throughput format.

As part of the Porcher lab, I am responsible for setting up a human stem cell culture system to better understand the mechanisms underlying development of haematopoietic stem cells. Many intermingling signalling pathways play co-operative roles to push cells towards the haematopoietic fate.  However, how haematopoietic stem cells develop from the embryo is still not completely understood. We aim at investigating niche specificity and uncover molecular pathways to generate transplantable haematopoietic stem cells in serum-free conditions in both human and mouse systems. This will enable us to develop novel treatments for blood diseases.

I also perform confocal imaging of mouse embryoid bodies to distinguish between the arterial endothelium stage and the hemogenic endothelium phase.

I work on optimising human and mouse stem cell protocols, documentation and imaging of stages from mesoderm to haematopoietic transformation.  I aim at building a strong reference for comparison in the later stages of our research. I also carry out lab management duties such as ordering, FACS and helping out with PCRs and cell cultures.