The major focus of Dr. Abkowitz’s research is understanding the molecular and cellular events that control red cell differentiation. Given her observation that the severe macrocytic anemias of Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA) and myelodysplastic syndrome with an isolated deletion of chromosome 5q (del(5q) MDS) result from insufficient ribosome numbers or function, a slowed initiation of globin synthesis, excessive heme and heme toxicity (Science Translational Medicine, 2016), her lab is especially interested in understanding how the poor coordination of heme with globin might lead to ineffective erythropoiesis more broadly. As examples, she is investigating heme signaling and the molecular consequences of excess heme with single cell RNA seq studies of murine models and MDS patient marrow samples. She (with Bart Scott MD) is also initiating a clinical trial of aggressive chelation in persons with MDS and anemia.
Dr. Abkowitz's other research interest is understanding hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) kinetics, in part by the mathematical modeling of cell fate-decisions using stochastic methods (collaboration with Peter Guttorp, PhD). This work allows insights into HSC differentiation during normal hematopoiesis, the pathophysiology of aplastic anemia, the pathophysiology of CHIP (clonal hematopoietic of indeterminate potential), and the clonal evolution and progression of myeloproliferative disorders.
University of Washington
Department of Medicine
Division of Hematology, Box 357710
1705 NE Pacific Street, HSB K-136
Seattle, WA 98195-7710
Research in hematopoietic stem cells, erythropoiesis, heme and iron physiology, marrow failure, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
General hematology; myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS); myeloproliferative disorders, and especially polycythemia vera and essential thrombocytosis; pure red cell aplasia, aplastic anemia and other marrow failure syndromes.