Blood cells are created in a highly organized process that is dependent on hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). HSCs are at the beginning of a long line of cell divisions that create lineages of cells. These cell lineages continue to divide and eventually mature into blood cells, such as red and white blood cells. There is evidence that leukemia cells are organized in a similar way, with leukemic stem cells (LSC) at the top of this lineage system. Dr. Dick's lab uses animal model systems and genetic techniques to identify and understand the differences between normal HSCs and LSCs. This will provide the basis for therapeutic advances in leukemia and other blood-related diseases.