Christopher Sturgeon, PhD
img_Christopher Sturgeon
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR | Cell, Developmental & Regenerative Biology
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR | Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology
Research Topics
Blood, Cell Biology, Cellular Differentiation, Cytokines, Developmental Biology, Differentiation, Hematopoiesis, Induced pluripotent stem cells, Macrophage, Signal Transduction, Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering
Multi-Disciplinary Training Area
Development Regeneration and Stem Cells [DRS]
hPSC-derived hematopoiesis

The directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) towards the hematopoietic lineages would be an invaluable tool for regenerative medicine, providing cells for both transplantation and in vitro analysis. As the PSC system has been shown to recapitulate developmental events in vitro, it is also a powerful model system for developmental biology, being the only method to-date that allows interrogation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate human development. Furthermore, the recent technological advancement to generate induced pluripotent stem cells offers the potential to model not only development, but also disease in a dish.

Current efforts to generate an hPSC-derived hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) are plagued by an inability to accurately discriminate between progenitors of the primitive and definitive hematopoietic programs, as there is no anatomical separation between the two in vitro. Briefly, very early in embryonic development the primitive hematopoietic program gives rise to a subset of lineages, including unique erythroblasts with high oxygen-affinity hemoglobin to promote embryonic survival, but no T cells or hematopoietic stem cells. This program is transient, and is shut down prior to the intra-embryonic emergence of the definitive hematopoietic program, which generates the full spectrum of hematopoietic lineages, including T cells and the hematopoietic stem cell. Both programs appear to progress in a similar fashion, passing through a mesodermal precursor and then subsequent hemogenic endothelium. However, as only the definitive program gives rise to a bona fide HSC, understanding the mechanism(s) that control specification of this program are essential to achieving this goal.

The focus of my lab is to elucidate the signaling pathways governing the specification of both hematopoietic programs using hPSC directed differentiation. Through this we aim to better understand the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation that controls HSC development, and identify method(s) to specify a transplantable HSC in the dish. Work in my laboratory is focused on three main objectives:

Understanding human primitive and definitive hematopoietic development

Understanding the endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition in hemogenic endothelium, ultimately giving rise to an HSC

Modeling hematopoietic disease with iPSC

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BSc(H), Carleton University

PhD, University of British Columbia

Postdoc, University of Toronto


Joanne Levy Award

American Society of Hematology


Scholar Award

American Society of Hematology


McEwen/McMurrich Regenerative Medicine Postdoctoral Fellowship

McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine


Roman M. Babicki Scholarship

University of British Columbia


NSERC PGS-B Scholarship



NSERC PGA-A Scholarship


Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology companies, and other outside entities to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their outside financial relationships.

Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. Sturgeon during 2023 and/or 2024. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Consulting or Other Professional Services Examples include, but are not limited to, committee participation, data safety monitoring board (DSMB) membership

  • Clade Therapeutics


  • Clade Therapeutics

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.