We are delighted to announce that Sten Eirik Jacobsen, Bass Professor of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology at the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit and Radcliffe Department of Medicine, has been elected as EMBO member.
This honour recognizes how his work has impacted our understanding of normal and dysregulated stem cell biology and lineage specification, with a direct clinical impact on the management of blood disorders.
Prof Jacobsen pioneered research examining how mature blood cells are produced from haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), in particular by unravelling new pathways of lineage commitment, in work that has redrawn the “textbook” roadmap of normal hematopoiesis. His work has also influenced the field’s thinking on the processes underlying stem cell fate decisions and stem cell heterogeneity. In particular, his team showed that not all HSCs are destined to form all mature blood cell types despite possessing multipotency.
The Jacobsen’s group research has also led to an improved understanding of hematological malignancies. His laboratory identified the tumour-initiating stem cell in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), the first studies establishing the identity of human cancer stem cells through mutational fate mapping. They also showed the clinical significance of MDS stem cells, by demonstrating how they selectively escape treatment in patients in seemingly complete remission. The group also played a key role in halting clinical bone marrow transplantation towards regeneration in non-hematopoietic tissues.
Prof Jacobsen studied Medicine at the University of Bergen, Norway where he also completed his PhD in 1992 (based on studies conducted at the NIH, USA). At Lund University he became the first Professor of Stem Cell Biology in Sweden in 2000. He was the founding and acting Director of the Lund Stem Cell Center (2003-2007), one of the first National Centers of Excellence in Life Sciences in Sweden. In 2006 he joined the University of Oxford and the MRC WIMM. Prof Jacobsen is also a Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.
EMBO Members and Associate Members are more than 1,800 of the best researchers in Europe and around the world. EMBO elected today 56 new members. More information can be found here.