Our lab is focused on understanding the biology of normal and leukemic human hematopoietic stem cells in order to develop more effective therapies for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Our approach involves xenotransplantation of primary AML patient samples into immune-deficient mouse recipients. This functional assay enables the characterization of the relevant stem cells that sustain leukemic growth in AML. Through functional validation of leukemia cell subsets, we developed a highly prognostic leukemia stem cell (LSC) score called LSC17 that can rapidly assess risk in newly diagnosed AML patients. We are currently working to develop a lab assay for the LSC17 score that can be used by clinicians to make risk-adapted treatment decisions for their patients. Another major focus of our lab is testing the efficacy of novel anti-leukemia agents against LSCs using xenotransplantation assays, with the development of drug-response biomarkers for use as stratification tools in the clinic.