Department of Pediatrics
Jill de Jong is currently performing research on hematopoietic stem cells, which are the cells in the bone marrow that produce all the different types of blood cells for the lifetime of an organism. She is interested in the genes that regulate hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in vivo during development, during adult homeostasis, and after bone marrow transplantation.
Her studies on the HSCs are performed using zebrafish, which make the same types of blood cells as mammals and are externally fertilized and optically clear, making them ideal for studying development. Discoveries in the zebrafish will be characterized in mammals and applied to treat human blood diseases, including bone marrow failure and leukemia.
In 1990, de Jong graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in biology. She then entered the Medical Scientist Training Program, a combined MD/PhD program, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, receiving her PhD in human cancer biology in 1997 and MD in 1999. She moved to Boston for a pediatrics residency at Children’s Hospital Boston (CHB) and a fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at CHB and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She has worked at Children’s Hospital Boston as an attending physician in hematology; she was also a postdoctoral research fellow there for the last five years.
de Jong joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2010.