Professor Simon Mendez-Ferrer

University of Cambridge

University departments
Department of Haematology
University institutes
Wellcome Trust MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute
NHS or other affiliations
NHS-Blood and Transplant

Position: Group Leader
Personal home page:

PubMed journal articles - click here

Professor Simon Mendez-Ferrer is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.

Research description

The Méndez-Ferrer laboratory research focuses on the regulation of the haematopoietic stem-cell niche in health and disease. Blood stem cells reside in specialised niches which allows them to self-renew, proliferate, differentiate and migrate according to the organism's requirements. The group studies multisystem regulatory mechanisms by which the haematopoietic stem cell niche fulfils these complex functions and how the deregulation of these mechanisms contributes to haematological disorders. The group has demonstrated that the brain regulates a peripheral stem cell niche in the bone marrow partly through sympathetic innervation of nestin+ niche cells. Protection of this regulatory network, whose constituents might share a related ancestry, can block the manifestation of myeloproliferative neoplasms. Our research indicates that neuroendocrine regulation of bone marrow stem cells by adrenergic signals or by sex hormones could potentially offer novel therapeutic approaches. We study the interaction of mesenchymal and haematopoietic stem cells and its implications for bone marrow transplantation procedures and the development of myeloproliferative neoplasias.

Research Programme or Virtual Institute
Haematological Malignancies Virtual Institute
Methods and technologies
Cell culture
Clinical trials
Confocal microscopy
Fluorescence microscopy
In vivo modelling
Tumour type interests
Bone and connective tissue

niche; microenvironment; myeloproliferative neoplasm; leukamia

Recent publications:
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Key publications

1. S. Méndez-Ferrer, T. V. Michurina, F. Ferraro, A. R. Mazloom, B. D. MacArthur, S. A. Lira, D. T. Scadden, A. Ma’ayan, G. N. Enikolopov and P. S. Frenette (2010). Mesenchymal and haematopoietic stem cells form a unique bone marrow niche. Nature 466:829-834.

2. S. Méndez-Ferrer, D. Lucas, M. Battista and P.S. Frenette (2008). Haematopoietic stem cell egress is regulated by circadian oscillations. Nature 452:442-447.

3. Arranz L, Sánchez-Aguilera A, Martín-Pérez D, Isern J, Langa X, Tzankov A, Lundberg P, Muntión S, Tzeng Y-S, Lai D-M, Schwaller J, Skoda RC and Méndez-Ferrer S. Neuropathy of haematopoietic stem cell niche is essential for myeloproliferative neoplasms. Nature 512: 78-81, 2014.

4. J. Isern, A. García-García, A. M. Martín, L. Arranz, D. Martín-Pérez, C. Torroja, F. Sánchez-Cabo and S. Méndez-Ferrer. The neural crest is a source of mesenchymal stem cells with specialized hematopoietic stem cell niche function. eLife Sept 25, 2014.

5. Sánchez-Aguilera A, Arranz L, Martín-Pérez D, García-García A, Stavropoulou V, Kubovcakova L, Isern J, Martín-Salamanca S, Langa X, Skoda RC, Schwaller J and Méndez-Ferrer S. Estrogen signaling selectively induces apoptosis of hematopoietic progenitors and myeloid neoplasms without harming steady-state hematopoiesis. Cell Stem Cell 15: 791-780, 2014.

6. Del Toro R, Chèvre R, Rodríguez C, Ordóñez A, Martínez-González J, Andrés V and Méndez-Ferrer S. Nestin+ cells direct inflammatory cell migration in atherosclerosis. Nat Commun 2016 Sep 2;7:12706

Improvement of myelofibrosis in mice chronically treated with beta3-adrenergic agonists (from Arranz et al. Nature 2014)