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By Ahmar U. Zaidi, MD

In this era, riddled with concerns about building walls, ASH and the European Hematology Association (EHA) have maintained an unwavering bridge that allows for the exchange of intellectual cargo. ASH President, Roy Silverstein, MD, and EHA President, John Gribben, MD, DSc, have collaborated to present a topic that has garnered much attention due to the augmentation of our understanding of basic cellular metabolism. “Hemato-metabolism” is the rewiring of cellular metabolism common to stem cell maintenance, hematopoietic stress responses, immune and inflammatory signaling, and induction and propagation of malignancy. This session has historically featured one North American and one European speaker.

Emmanuelle Passegué, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center, will present on Metabolic Control of Emergency Hematopoiesis. She will discuss her lab’s comprehensive analysis of emergency hematopoiesis and myeloid regeneration at the single-cell level, which points to many metabolic control points along the hematopoietic hierarchy. Her presentation will cover the comprehensive analysis of emergency hematopoiesis and myeloid regeneration at the single-cell level, the meticulous kinetics of stem and progenitor activation and mature cell production, the identification of distinct metabolic control points along the hematopoietic hierarchy, and the implication for tissue regeneration and disease development.

Brian J.P. Huntly, MB ChB, FRCPath, PhD, of the University of Cambridge, will present the talk, Systems Biology Approaches Identify Metabolic Mechanisms Underlying Hematologic Disorders. The Huntly Lab uses bulk and single-cell genomic technologies and systems biology methodologies to resolve causative mechanisms during the evolution of hematologic malignancies, particularly acute myeloid leukemia and lymphoma. Owing to the growing appreciation of the rewiring of cellular metabolism as a hallmark and possible therapeutic vulnerability in cancer, these studies have identified multiple metabolic candidates and potential mechanisms associated with tumor induction as well as potential therapeutic targets.

I spoke with Dr. Silverstein who said, “I am excited about the session because it will demonstrate very nicely how new, experimental technologies, including assessment of cellular metabolic flux, single-cell gene expression, and big data analytics/ systems biology, can come together to enhance our understanding of pathophysiology of hematologic malignancies and reveal new therapeutic targets. It is also interesting to me how mutations diverting ‘classic’ metabolic intermediates can drive epigenetic changes in blood cancer development.” The intellectually fertile landscape in North America and Europe has generated stimulating science in the field of hematology, and the joint efforts by ASH and EHA have resulted in a precious intellectual exchange. This is a can’t-miss session for attendees, demonstrating that despite us being separated by oceans, it is blood that connects us.


Dr. Zaidi indicated no relevant conflicts of interest.

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