The primary goal of our research is to understand the molecular basis of self-renewal and differentiation in normal and cancer stem cells. Currently we focus on hematopoiesis as a system to uncover the cellular machinery that regulates homeostasis and regeneration in bone marrow as well as to identify molecular drivers of transformation that lead to the development of hematologic malignancies such as leukemia. We are particularly interested in the stem cell regulatory circuits governed by RNA binding proteins and their target RNAs. Recent studies, including our own work, suggest that stem cells require the function of RNA binding proteins to sustain self-renewal capacity and that RNA binding proteins are aberrantly utilized to initiate and maintain uncontrolled propagation of cancer cells. Overall, our research program seeks to improve our understanding of stem cell and cancer biology, and to apply this knowledge to the development of novel and effective approaches to treat human cancer.