Einstein Stem Cell Researcher Looks for Answers in Zebrafish

Teresa V. Bowman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Developmental & Molecular Biology and Department of Medicine (Oncology)

Researcher, Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

How did you come to work in New York State?

Before coming to Einstein in June 2013, I did my postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. After completing my postdoc, I wanted to start my laboratory in an equally vibrant research environment and New York definitely fit the bill. Einstein has exceptional researchers across a wide array of disciplines including my main interests, hematology and stem cells. Moreover, being part of the greater New York metropolitan research environment enhances and expands my research community, which is critical to stay on the cutting edge.

What is your area of research, and what is the potential impact of the research?

My area of research is primarily with hematopoietic stem cells, which are stem cells in the bone marrow that replenish blood cells. These cells are thought of be of importance in connection with hematologic diseases (blood diseases) and Myelodysplastic Syndromes (bone marrow disorders), when the bone marrow doesn’t produce enough healthy blood cells.

I want to answer questions about the origins of these diseases and help develop innovative strategies to improve the lives of patients with blood and bone marrow disorders, as well as the numerous cancer patients who suffer damage to the blood system as a result of chemotherapy. My lab uses zebrafish to try and identify genetic origins of the diseases, as well as to screen for small molecules that could cure the disorders, in hopes that this research will lead to new therapies.

How is your research funded?

My lab’s research is funded by a combination of an NIH grant and grants from private foundations. Other researchers at the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine receive funding from the state through NYSTEM, and this support has been essential to their research.

Researchers can no longer rely on a single funding source, and continued support from the state for biomedical research is more important than ever.