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Kristin Hope

Kristin Hope

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences

Contact Information

Location: MDCL 5025


“What drives me is the belief that by truly understanding the unique circuitry of stem cells, we will have the tools we need to harness these cells for regenerative medicine, and to rein in the aberrant stem cells that drive disease.”

Research in Dr. Kristin Hope’s lab revolves around the study of hematopoietic stem cells   More specifically, understanding at the molecular level how and why these stem cells either self-renew or differentiate. Understanding these cell-fate decisions is crucial for determining how to maintain the health of a human blood system. When there is a balance between self-renewal and differentiation of cells, the blood system is working normally; when there is an imbalance, diseases like leukemia arise.

More specifically, the Hope program is studying the role of RNA-binding proteins in the regulation of these stem cells. The lab is exploring, in a high throughput manner, a wide variety of RNA-binding proteins and their potential for controlling both healthy and leukemic stem cells. Of particular interest has been the Musashi-2 protein; recent findings in the Hope lab demonstrate that this protein is implicated in the growth of stem cells within human cord blood.

To determine the role of RNA-binding proteins in both healthy and leukemic human stem cells, Dr. Hope is seeking to develop better screening approaches using the unique expertise housed at the SCC-RI. A more robust understanding of these proteins will be critical to developing novel therapeutics for certain blood-based disorders.


Informing the design of targeted anti-leukemic therapies to improve treatment options and outcomes for patients with this disease.

Insight into the specialized cellular machinery that functions in blood stem cells paves the way to developing new strategies to amplify these cells for regenerative medicine.

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Lab Team

Picture Name Designation Focus Email More Info
Belma Abidin Belma Abidin Post-Doctoral Fellow
Mohammad Alam Mohammad Alam Graduate Student
Derek Chan Derek Chan Graduate Student
Ava Keyvania-Chahi Ava Keyvania-Chahi Technical Staff
Damian Tran Damian Tran Graduate Student
Ana Vujovic Ana Vujovic Graduate Student
Nicholas Wong Nicholas Wong Technical Staff
Joshua Xu Joshua Xu Graduate Student

Selected Publications

Musashi-2 attenuates AHR signalling to expand human haematopoietic stem cells.

Rentas S, Holzapfel NT, Belew MS, Pratt GA, Voisin V, Wilhelm BT, Bader GD, Yeo GW, Hope KJ.

Nature. 2016 Apr 28;532(7600):508-11

"A team of researchers from McMaster University’s Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute have gained knowledge about a key protein that enables greater control and regeneration of these cells, leading to new strategies to control the growth of blood stem cells and making enhanced numbers for transplantation possible." - Bioscience Technology

Clonal interrogation of stem cells

Hope K, Bhatia M.

Nature Methods. 2011 Apr; 8(4 Suppl): S36-40.

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