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Lei Li

Postdoctoral researcher

I am a postdoctoral researcher both in Professor Roger Patient and Professor Catherine Porcher labs. I got my PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in 2013, and after undertaking a postdoctoral position in HUST, I joined the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in Jan 2015.

My research focuses on identifying molecular pathways leading to haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) emergence during embryogenesis. VEGFA is a multifunctional signalling molecule that instructs successive stages of HSC development. We have already identified the transcriptional co-repressors ETV6 and ETO2 as key indirect regulators of Vegfa expression in the somites of Xenopus embryos at two distinct stages of blood development. In my project, I employ genomic and functional tools to study the transcriptional activities of ETV6 and ETO2 in order to identify the direct regulators of Vegfa expression in the somites. Ultimately, this study will help design protocols aiming at producing HSCs in vitro from pluripotent stem cells.