2009: Leslie E. Silberstein

Morten Grove-Rasmussen Award


Leslie E. Silberstein, MD

Dr. Silberstein is currently a Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Joint Program in Transfusion Medicine at Children's Hospital, Boston, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is also a Senior Investigator and Director of the Center for Human Cell Therapy at the Immune Disease Institute and Head of the HSCI Translational Research Program.

In the bone marrow, hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC) reside in close contact with stromal cells in distinct anatomical microenvironments, where they receive signals for lodgement/retention as well as growth and maturation. A long-term objective of Dr. Silberstein's laboratory is to better define niche-induced signals and their intracellular pathways controlling HSPC development and function. The approaches used in the laboratory involve both human and murine (i.e. gene targeted) model systems.. A recent major focus is the use of laser scanning cytometry to objectively quantitate the spatial distribution of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in bone marrow niches. Multi-photon intravital microscopy is used to define the dynamic behavior of HSPC and their adhesive interactions with specific niche cells. The research program is directly relevant to understanding the pathogenesis of normal and neoplastic hematopoietic disorders such as leukemia, myelodysplasia and immunodeficiency. Moreover, a better definition of the signaling pathways regulating HSPC cell fate should lead to new translational approaches to enhance ex vivo expansion and improve transplantation efficiency of clinically relevant HSPC populations. Through both his leadership and research activities, he brings together Transfusion Medicine-related educational, research and clinical activities of the major Harvard Medical School affiliated institutions in Boston.