Research Group César Nombela-Arrieta


Hematopoiesis, Microenvironment, Bone marrow, Leukemia, 3D quantitative Imaging

Summary & Mission statement

Our laboratory is interested in understanding how stromal cells of the bone marrow microenvironment regulate healthy and malignant hematopoiesis, as well as immune cell trafficking and activation in marrow tissues. Our ultimate goal is to find new ways in which dysfunctional stromal-hematopoietic crosstalk maybe targeted in hematologic malignancies.


High throughput, continuous blood cell production is the end result of an extraordinarily complex and tightly regulated set of cellular interactions that take place within the ecosystem of bone marrow tissues. In my research group we investigate how the non-hematopoietic cells – that form the stromal backbone of bone marrow – assemble into highly organized three dimensional infrastructures, which host and critically control hematopoiesis. In particular, we focus in defining the specialized niche cell types that maintain hematopoietic stem cells. We aim to further dissect the cellular and molecular make-up of the stromal microenvironment, and the ways in which stromal regulation is subverted in pathological hematopoiesis. We have a special interest in the inflammatory signals that trigger alterations in stromal cell function, which promote the initiation and development of malignant transformation of hematopoietic progenitors. We are further interested in studying the mechanisms driving immune cell trafficking in and out of marrow tissues in the context of infections and neoplasias. Our research largely relies on the use of state of the art imaging technologies implemented in our laboratory, which enable the three-dimensional reconstruction, visualization and quantitative analysis of large volumes of hematopoietic tissues with unprecedented resolution.