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Vivien Ho

B.S.


DPhil Student

Understanding the origin of haematopoietic stem cells

I received my bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the United States. During my time at UCLA, I conducted research under the supervision of Professor Utpal Banerjee as part of the Minor in Biomedical Research. I used a variety of genetic and molecular techniques to study the determination of blood cell fate in response to both global and local signals in Drosophila larvae.

Shortly after graduation, I matriculated at Oxford as a DPhil student in the Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Program. I undertook two rotation projects in the laboratories of Professor Catherine Porcher and Professor Claus Nerlov and decided to join the laboratory of Professor Catherine Porcher for my DPhil project.

My DPhil project focuses on understanding the origin and lineage progression of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from mesoderm. The ability to model HSC development in vitro would have many applications in basic scientific research and the development of therapies for various blood diseases. The project will involve using an in vivo single-cell lineage tracing approach to trace the origin of HSCs in the mouse. These experiments will shed light on the lineage decisions that cells undergo to become blood. Ultimately, these findings will inform attempts to model HSC development.