Camilla Forsberg

Where does blood come from?

The Forsberg lab focuses on stem cell fate decisions of the blood system. Hematopoietic stem cells are responsible for generating a life-long supply of mature blood cells. Each stem cell is capable of making all of the mature blood cell types with widely different functions: some blood cells specialize in carrying oxygen, others fight off infections, and still others prevent bleeding in the process of blood clotting. How does a stem cell decide which cell type to give rise to? Are these decisions made by the stem cell itself, by its descendant multipotent progenitors, or both? How are these decisions dysregulated to cause cancer and other disorders?

We tackle these questions from multiple angles - by in vivo and in vitro experimental approaches, by focusing on specific molecules as well as analyzing global changes. Ultimately, we want to understand the molecular determinants of hematopoietic stem cell fate decisions so that we can prevent and treat both genetic and acquired disorders of the hematopoietic system, including anemia, autoimmune disease, leukemias and lymphomas.


Postdoctoral position available




  • Ugarte F, Sousae S, Cinquin B, Martin EM, Krietsch J, Sanchez G, Inman M, Tsang H, Warr M, Passegué E, Larabell C, and Forsberg EC. Progressive chromatin condensation and H3K9 methylation regulate the differentiation of embryonic and hematopoietic stem cells. Stem Cell Reports.Nov 10;5(5):728-40.

  • Zovein and Forsberg, E.C. (2015) Hematopoietic development at high altitude: blood stem cellsput to the test. Development. May 15;142(10):1728-32. Invited Commentary/Meeting Review

  • Hoeffel G, Chen J, Lavin Y, Low D, Almeida FF, See P, Beaudin AE, Lum J, Low I, Forsberg EC, Poidinger M, Zolezzi F, Larbi A, Ng LG, Chan JK, Greter M, Becher B, Samokhvalov IM, Merad M, Ginhoux F. (2015) C-myb(+) erythro-myeloid progenitor-derived fetal monocytes give rise to adult tissue-resident macrophages. Immunity. Apr 21;42(4):665-78.

                      Comment in: Immunity 2015 April 21: Schneider, C. and Kopf, M. “tEMPting Fate MaYBe the Solution”

  • Smith-Berdan S, Nguyen A, Hong MA, Forsberg EC. (2015) ROBO4-Mediated Vascular Integrity Regulates the Directionality ofSCR cover 2015 Hematopoietic Stem Cell Trafficking. Stem Cell Reports. Feb 10;4(2):255-68.

                      Cover image

  • Flach J, Bakker ST, Mohrin M, Conroy PC, Pietras EM, Reynaud D, Alvarez S, Diolaiti ME, Ugarte F, Forsberg EC, Le Beau MM, Stohr BA, Méndez J, Morrison CG, Passegué E. (2014) Replication stress is a potent driver of functional decline in ageing haematopoietic stem cells. Nature. Aug 14;512(7513):198-202.

                     Comment in: Nature 2014 Jul 30: Bartek, J. and Hodny, Z. “Old blood stem cells feel the stress”      

  • Epelman S, Lavine KJ, Beaudin AE, Sojka DK, Carrero JA, Calderon B, Brija T, Gautier EL, Ivanov S, Satpathy AT, Schilling JD, Schwendener R, Sergin I, Razani B, Forsberg EC, Yokoyama WM, Unanue ER, Colonna M, Randolph GJ, Mann DL. (2014) Embryonic and Adult-Derived Resident Cardiac Macrophages Are Maintained through Distinct Mechanisms at Steady State and during Inflammation. Immunity. 2014 Jan 16;40(1):91-104.

  • Beaudin, A.E., Boyer, S.W., and Forsberg, E.C. (2014) Flk2/Flt3 promotes both myeloid and lymphoid development by expanding non-self-renewing multipotent hematopoietic progenitor cells. Experimental Hematology. Mar;42(3):218-229.e4.

                      Highlighted in “In This Issue”, Experimental Hematology, March 2014

  • Ugarte, F. and Forsberg, E.C. (2013) Haematopoietic stem cell niches: new insights inspire new questions. EMBO J. Oct 2;32(19):2535-2547. Invited review.
  • Hashimoto D, Chow A, Noizat C, Teo P, Beasley MB, Leboeuf M, Becker CD, See P, Price J, Lucas D, Greter M, Mortha A, Boyer SW, Forsberg EC, Tanaka M, van Rooijen N, García-Sastre A, Stanley ER, Ginhoux F, Frenette PS, Merad M. (2013) Tissue-res

    ident macrophages self-maintain locally throughout adult life with minimal contribution from circulating monocytes. Immunity. Apr 18;38(4):792-804. 

  • Boyer, S.W., Beaudin, A.E., and Forsberg, E.C. (2012) Mapping differentiation pathways from hematopoietic stem cells using Flk2/Flt3 lineage tracing. Cell Cycle. Sep 1;11(17).

  • Smith-Berdan, S., Schepers, K., Ly, A., Passegue, E., and Forsberg, E.C. (2012) Dynamic expression of the Robo ligand Slit2 in bone marrow cell populations. Cell Cycle. Feb 15;11(4).

  • Boyer, S.W., Schroeder, A.V., Smith-Berdan, S., and Forsberg, E.C. (2011) All hematopoietic cells are generated from hematopoietic stem cells through Flk2/Flt3-positive progenitor cells. Cell Stem Cell Jul 8;9(1):64-73.

Selected for “Faculty of 1000” 

  • Koeva, M., Forsberg, E.C., and Stuart, J.M. (2011) Computational integration of homolog and pathway gene module expression reveals general stemness signatures. PLoS ONE 6(4): e18968.

  • Smith-Berdan, S., Nguyen, A., Hassanein D, Zimmer M, Ugarte F, Ciriza J, Li D, García-Ojeda ME, Hinck L, and Forsberg, E.C. (2011) Robo4 cooperates with Cxcr4 to specify hematopoietic stem cell localization to bone marrow niches. Cell Stem Cell 7;8(1):72-83.

Cover imageRobo4
Comment in: Cell Stem Cell 2011 Jan 7;8(1):6-7. Moore K. “A roundabout way to the niche”
Comment in: Nature 2011 Jan 20; 469(7330). Research Highlights, “Stem cells: Robo protein guide for cell transplants”
Selected for “Faculty of 1000” 

  • Chang, E.1, Forsberg, E.C.1, Wu, J., Wang, B., Prohaska, S.S1., Allsopp, R., Weissman, I.L., and Cooke, J.P. (2010) Cholinergic activation of hematopoietic stem cells. Vasc Med. Oct;15(5):375- 85.

  • Marlow, R., Binnewies, M., Monica, S., Strickland, P., Forsberg, E.C., Li, D.Y., and Hinck, L. (2010) Vascular Robo4 restricts pro-angiogenic epithelial signaling in breast. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107(23):10520-5. Epub 2010 May 24.

  • Santaguida, M., Schepers, K., King, B., Sabnis, A.J., Forsberg, E.C., Attema, J.L., Braun, B.S., and Passegué, E. (2009). JunB protects against myeloid malignancies by limiting hematopoietic stem cell proliferation and differentiation without affecting self-renewal. Cancer Cell, 5: 341-52.

  • Forsberg, E.C. and Smith-Berdan, S. (2009) Parsing the niche code: the molecular mechanisms governing hematopoietic stem cell adhesion and differentiation. Haematologica 94(11):1477-81.  Parsing

Cover image

  • Forsberg, E.C., Passegue, E1., Prohaska, S.S1., Wagers, A.J1., Koeva, M., Stuart, J.M., and Weissman, I.L. (2009) Molecular signatures of quiescent and mobilized hematopoietic stem cells and leukemic stem cells. PLoS One Jan 20;5(1):e8785.
  • Ooi, A.G.L., Karsunky, H., Majeti, R., Butz, S., Vestweber, D., Ishida, T., Quertermous, T., Weissman, I.L., and Forsberg, E.C. (2008) The adhesion molecule ESAM1 is a selective marker for hematopoietic stem cells. Stem Cells. 2008 Dec 11, Epub ahead of print.
  • Attema JL, Papathanasiou P, Forsberg EC, Xu J, Smale ST, Weissman IL. Epigenetic characterization of hematopoietic stem cell differentiation using miniChIP and bisulfite sequencing analysis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul 24;104(30):12371-6. Epub 2007 Jul 18.
  • Forsberg EC, Bhattacharya D, Weissman IL. Hematopoietic stem cells: expression profiling and beyond. Stem Cell Rev. 2006;2(1):23-30. Review.
  • Forsberg EC, Serwold T, Kogan S, Weissman IL, Passegué E. New evidence supporting megakaryocyte-erythrocyte potential of flk2/flt3+ multipotent hematopoietic progenitors. Cell. 2006 Jul 28;126(2):415-26.
  • Forsberg EC, Prohaska SS, Katzman S, Heffner GC, Stuart JM, Weissman IL. Differential expression of novel potential regulators in hematopoietic stem cells. PLoS Genet. 2005 Sep;1(3):e28.