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Editorial introductions

Editor(s): Mohandas, Narla; Grimes, H. Leighton

Current Opinion in Hematology: January 2021 - Volume 28 - Issue 1 - p v-vi
doi: 10.1097/MOH.0000000000000619
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Current Opinion in Hematology was launched in 1994. It is part of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The field of hematology is divided into nine sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Editor and the Section Editor for this issue.


Narla Mohandas

Narla Mohandas

Dr Narla Mohandas is a Distinguished Scientist for Research at New York Blood Center, New York, USA. He received his doctoral degree from Washington University, St. Louis, USA in Chemical Engineering. After completing post-doctoral training in hematology research with Dr Marcel Bessis, Institute of Cellular Pathology in Paris, France, he joined the Faculty of Laboratory Medicine at University of California, San Francisco where he spent 13 years. In 1989, he moved to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California to head the Hematopoiesis group. During his 12-year tenure at the Berkeley Laboratory he also served as Interim Director of Human Genome Project for three years. In 2001, he moved to the New York Blood Center.

Dr Mohandas’ scientific interests during his 45-year research career have focused on red cell physiology and pathology. In particular, his efforts have contributed to improved understanding of the molecular and structural basis for red cell membrane disorders, developing detailed mechanistic insights into pathophysiology of thalassemias and sickle cell disease, characterizing structural and functional changes induced in red cells by the malarial parasite, plasmodium falciparum. His research efforts during last ten years are focused on molecular understanding of normal and disordered human erythropoiesis including Diamond-Blackfan anemia and Myelodysplasia.

Dr Mohandas served as a member of the National Institutes of Health Hematology study section for 18 years and is currently member of the NHLBI Advisory Council. He has been a member of numerous committees including the Executive committee of American Society of Hematology. He served as Associate Editor of Blood from 2003–2012 and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Blood Cells, Molecules and Disease and of Current Opinion in Hematology. In 2020, he received the Wallace H. Coulter award for Life Time Achievement in Hematology from the American Society of Hematology.


H. Leighton Grimes

H. Leighton Grimes

Dr H. Leighton Grimes is a tenured Professor in the Division of Immunobiology and the Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. He is a past Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and a current member of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC) Leukemia Research Program. Dr Grimes is active in service to the American Society of Hematology; serving as member for the nascent Scientific Committee on Bone Marrow Failure, as chair of the Scientific Committee for Myeloid Biology, and currently as a member of the Honorific Awards study section. He is a reviewer for many professional publications including Nature, Nature Immunology, Blood, Cell Stem Cell, Immunity, Journal of Experimental Medicine and Cancer Research. In Cincinnati, he serves as the Director of the Cancer Pathology Program in the Divisions of Pathology and Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, and he is the co-leader of the Program in Hematologic Malignancies of the Cincinnati Children's Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute. To stimulate new insights and collaborations in the field, Dr Grimes organizes the International Workshop on Molecular Aspects of Myeloid Stem Cell Development and Leukemia (

Dr Grimes has a broad background in hematopoiesis, molecular biology, and molecular oncology including mouse modeling of hematopoiesis, myelopoiesis, marrow failure syndromes and leukemia. He received his bachelor's degree at Loyola University in New Orleans, and his doctoral degree in Molecular Pathology and Immunology studying gene regulation with Maureen Goodenow at the University of Florida. He then joined the lab of Philip Tsichlis at Fox Chase Cancer Center at the time the lab was cloning novel genes activated by Moloney murine leukemia virus insertion mutagenesis (e.g. Akt, Tpl2). During his postdoctoral studies in the Tsichlis lab, he participated in the identification of the Growth factor independent-1 (Gfi1) transcription factor, defined its DNA binding specificity, named the “SNAG” transcription repressor domain, and genetically linked this domain to Gfi1-directed biology. His independent laboratory continues to focus on transcriptional integration of normal and malignant hematopoiesis.

With Marshall Horwitz (U. Wash) they identified humans with mutations in GFI1, who display severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) and non-immune chronic idiopathic neutropenia of adults (NI-CINA). In Cancer Discovery, his lab proved that Dnmt3a haplo-insuffiency could facilitate AML genesis. In Nature 2016, they were one of the first labs to utilize scRNA seq profiling to dissect homeostatic myeloid development and provide deep molecular insight into the process of differentiation. In Nature 2020, they generated the first mouse models of human severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) using patient-derived mutations in the GFI1 transcription factor. To determine the effects of SCN mutations, they generated single-cell references for granulopoietic genomic states with linked epitopes, aligned mutant cells to their wild-type equivalents and identified differentially expressed genes and epigenetic loci. These insights facilitated the genetic rescue of granulocytic specification but not post-commitment defects in innate-immune effector function, and underscore the importance of evaluating the effects of mutations and therapy within each relevant cell state. The Grimes lab is actively harnessing both established and cutting-edge single cell technologies to dissect the transcriptional and epigenetic programming of normal and malignant hematopoiesis. In collaboration with Nathan Salomonis (CCHMC) they develop biologically-centric informatics algorithms to process single cell data, web portals to disseminate the work flows, and web browsers to make the data easily accessible to biologists.

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