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My primary research interest lies in the plasticity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Using a unique single cell HSC transplantation model, work in my laboratory addresses the role of HSCs in both pathological and physiological conditions. Current studies are directed at two major areas. The first is the examination of the role of HSCs in the development and progression of solid tumors. Our in vivo studies have demonstrated that both circulating fibroblast precursors (CFPs) and carcinoma associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are of HSC origin. We are currently investigating the roles that these HSC-derived stromal cells play in promoting tumor progression and metastasis and elucidating mechanisms regulating the cross-talk between these HSC-derived cells and tumor cells. The long-term goal of these studies is to target HSC-derived CFPs and CAFs to inhibit tumor progression. The second area of focus for my laboratory is aimed at determining the ability of HSCs to generate mesenchymal cells including adipocytes, osteocytes and chondrocytes. Our recent data from transplantation models indicate that HSCs give rise to adipocytes, osteoblasts, osteocytes and chondrocytes in vivo. Current studies are aimed at determining the participation of these HSC-derived cells in injury models such as fracture and disorders such as obesity. The ultimate goal of these studies is to develop unique avenues of therapy for diseases of mesenchymal tissues.