Gay M Crooks
Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of California Los Angeles
Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California Los Angeles
Professor, Pediatrics, University of California Los Angeles
Co-Director, Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research
Director, JCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program Area
Dr. Crooks has long been interested in the way blood stem cells in the bone marrow are able to generate the billions of diverse cell types in the blood. As a pediatric bone marrow transplant physician, Dr. Crooks cares for children with a wide range of diseases that affect the blood and the immune system. Although stem cell transplantation is the only cure for many of these diseases, too many children and adults who undergo this treatment suffer severe side effects from slow recovery of the immune system because of damage to the thymus, a small gland which sits just behind the sternum in front of the heart. A healthy immune system is critical for the control of infections, cancer, and a vast array of autoimmune diseases. Like other components of the blood, the immune system is generated from stem cells (called hematopoietic, or blood, stem cells) which reside mostly in the bone marrow but circulate to other parts of the body when needed. To form the T-cells of the immune system, stem cells in the bone marrow travel to the thymus. A healthy thymus produces T-cells that are both tolerant of normal cells while reacting and protecting us against infection and cancer. Dr Crooks’s research aims to tackle all parts of this critical and fascinating process: how the immune system is created from stem cells, how we can regenerate healthy thymus to improve immune function and how an inexhaustible supply of matched blood stem cells might be produced from pluripotent stem cells.
Dr Crooks graduated from medical school at the University of Western Australia and completed her FRACP (pediatrics) at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children prior to her fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). In 1993, she joined the faculty of the University of Southern California and established her laboratory and clinical programs in the Division of Research Immunology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at CHLA. In 2009 her research program moved to UCLA, where in addition to running her laboatory research program, Dr. Crooks is a pediatric bone marrow transplant physician in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Mattel Children’s Hospital, UCLA. Her research is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which the immune system is generated from hematopoietic stem cells and pluripotent stem cells, in normal development and disease.
- Montel-Hagen A, Tsai S, Seet CS, Crooks GM. Generation of Artificial Thymic Organoids from Human and Murine Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells.. Current protocols, 2022.
- Wang Z, McWilliams-Koeppen HP, Reza H, Ostberg JR, Chen W, Wang X, Huynh C, Vyas V, Chang WC, Starr R, Wagner JR, Aguilar B, Yang X, Wu X, Wang J, Chen W, Koelker-Wolfe E, Seet CS, Montel-Hagen A, Crooks GM, Forman SJ, Brown CE. 3D-organoid culture supports differentiation of human CAR+ iPSCs into highly functional CAR T cells.. Cell stem cell, 2022.
- Li YR, Zhou Y, Kim YJ, Zhu Y, Ma F, Yu J, Wang YC, Chen X, Li Z, Zeng S, Wang X, Lee D, Ku J, Tsao T, Hardoy C, Huang J, Cheng D, Montel-Hagen A, Seet CS, Crooks GM, Larson SM, Sasine JP, Wang X, Pellegrini M, Ribas A, Kohn DB, Witte O, Wang P, Yang L. Development of allogeneic HSC-engineered iNKT cells for off-the-shelf cancer immunotherapy.. Cell reports. Medicine, 2021.
- Sun V, Sharpley M, Kaczor-Urbanowicz KE, Chang P, Montel-Hagen A, Lopez S, Zampieri A, Zhu Y, de Barros SC, Parekh C, Casero D, Banerjee U, Crooks GM. The Metabolic Landscape of Thymic T Cell Development In Vivo and In Vitro.. Frontiers in immunology, 2021.
- Kohn DB, Booth C, Shaw KL, Xu-Bayford J, Garabedian E, Trevisan V, Carbonaro-Sarracino DA, Soni K, Terrazas D, Snell K, Ikeda A, Leon-Rico D, Moore TB, Buckland KF, Shah AJ, Gilmour KC, De Oliveira S, Rivat C, Crooks GM, Izotova N, Tse J, Adams S, Shupien S, Ricketts H, Davila A, Uzowuru C, Icreverzi A, Barman P, Campo Fernandez B, Hollis RP, Coronel M, Yu A, Chun KM, Casas CE, Zhang R, Arduini S, Lynn F, Kudari M, Spezzi A, Zahn M, Heimke R, Labik I, Parrott R, Buckley RH, Reeves L, Cornetta K, Sokolic R, Hershfield M, Schmidt M, Candotti F, Malech HL, Thrasher AJ, Gaspar HB. Autologous Ex Vivo Lentiviral Gene Therapy for Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency.. The New England journal of medicine, 2021.
- Montel-Hagen A, Sun V, Casero D, Tsai S, Zampieri A, Jackson N, Li S, Lopez S, Zhu Y, Chick B, He C, de Barros SC, Seet CS, Crooks GM. In Vitro Recapitulation of Murine Thymopoiesis from Single Hematopoietic Stem Cells.. Cell reports, 2020.
- de Barros SC, Suterwala BT, He C, Ge S, Chick B, Blumberg GK, Kim K, Klein S, Zhu Y, Wang X, Casero D, Crooks GM. Pleiotropic Roles of VEGF in the Microenvironment of the Developing Thymus.. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2020.
- Calvanese V, Nguyen AT, Bolan TJ, Vavilina A, Su T, Lee LK, Wang Y, Lay FD, Magnusson M, Crooks GM, Kurdistani SK, Mikkola HKA. MLLT3 governs human haematopoietic stem-cell self-renewal and engraftment.. Nature, 2019.
- Zhu Y, Smith DJ, Zhou Y, Li YR, Yu J, Lee D, Wang YC, Di Biase S, Wang X, Hardoy C, Ku J, Tsao T, Lin LJ, Pham AT, Moon H, McLaughlin J, Cheng D, Hollis RP, Campo-Fernandez B, Urbinati F, Wei L, Pang L, Rezek V, Berent-Maoz B, Macabali MH, Gjertson D, Wang X, Galic Z, Kitchen SG, An DS, Hu-Lieskovan S, Kaplan-Lefko PJ, De Oliveira SN, Seet CS, Larson SM, Forman SJ, Heath JR, Zack JA, Crooks GM, Radu CG, Ribas A, Kohn DB, Witte ON, Yang L. Development of Hematopoietic Stem Cell-Engineered Invariant Natural Killer T Cell Therapy for Cancer.. Cell stem cell, 2019.
- Chai M, Jiang M, Vergnes L, Fu X, de Barros SC, Doan NB, Huang W, Chu J, Jiao J, Herschman H, Crooks GM, Reue K, Huang J. Stimulation of Hair Growth by Small Molecules that Activate Autophagy.. Cell reports, 2019.
- Crooks GM, Eaves C. Introduction.. Experimental hematology, 2019.
- Montel-Hagen A, Seet CS, Li S, Chick B, Zhu Y, Chang P, Tsai S, Sun V, Lopez S, Chen HC, He C, Chin CJ, Casero D, Crooks GM. Organoid-Induced Differentiation of Conventional T Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.. Cell stem cell, 2019.
- Montel-Hagen A, Crooks GM. From pluripotent stem cells to T cells.. Experimental hematology, 2018.
- Puig-Saus C, Parisi G, Garcia-Diaz A, Krystofinski PE, Sandoval S, Zhang R, Champhekar AS, McCabe J, Cheung-Lau GC, Truong NA, Vega-Crespo A, Komenan MDS, Pang J, Macabali MH, Saco JD, Goodwin JL, Bolon B, Seet CS, Montel-Hagen A, Crooks GM, Hollis RP, Campo-Fernandez B, Bischof D, Cornetta K, Gschweng EH, Adelson C, Nguyen A, Yang L, Witte ON, Baltimore D, Comin-Anduix B, Kohn DB, Wang X, Cabrera P, Kaplan-Lefko PJ, Berent-Maoz B, Ribas A. IND-Enabling Studies for a Clinical Trial to Genetically Program a Persistent Cancer-Targeted Immune System.. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 2018.
- Chin CJ, Li S, Corselli M, Casero D, Zhu Y, He CB, Hardy R, Péault B, Crooks GM. Transcriptionally and Functionally Distinct Mesenchymal Subpopulations Are Generated from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.. Stem cell reports, 2018.
- Seet CS, He C, Bethune MT, Li S, Chick B, Gschweng EH, Zhu Y, Kim K, Kohn DB, Baltimore D, Crooks GM, Montel-Hagen A. Generation of mature T cells from human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in artificial thymic organoids.. Nature methods, 2017.
- Dou DR, Calvanese V, Sierra MI, Nguyen AT, Minasian A, Saarikoski P, Sasidharan R, Ramirez CM, Zack JA, Crooks GM, Galic Z, Mikkola HK. Medial HOXA genes demarcate haematopoietic stem cell fate during human development.. Nature cell biology, 2016.
- Chin CJ, Cooper AR, Lill GR, Evseenko D, Zhu Y, He CB, Casero D, Pellegrini M, Kohn DB, Crooks GM. Genetic Tagging During Human Mesoderm Differentiation Reveals Tripotent Lateral Plate Mesodermal Progenitors.. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2016.
- Rodríguez-Malavé NI, Fernando TR, Patel PC, Contreras JR, Palanichamy JK, Tran TM, Anguiano J, Davoren MJ, Alberti MO, Pioli KT, Sandoval S, Crooks GM, Rao DS. BALR-6 regulates cell growth and cell survival in B-lymphoblastic leukemia.. Molecular cancer, 2015.
- Casero D, Sandoval S, Seet CS, Scholes J, Zhu Y, Ha VL, Luong A, Parekh C, Crooks GM. Long non-coding RNA profiling of human lymphoid progenitor cells reveals transcriptional divergence of B cell and T cell lineages.. Nature immunology, 2015.
- Abdel-Azim H, Mahadeo KM, Zhao Q, Khazal S, Kohn DB, Crooks GM, Shah AJ, Kapoor N. Unrelated donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for the treatment of non-malignant genetic diseases: An alemtuzumab based regimen is associated with cure of clinical disease; earlier clearance of alemtuzumab may be associated with graft rejection.. American journal of hematology, 2015.
- Berent-Maoz B, Montecino-Rodriguez E, Fice M, Casero D, Seet CS, Crooks GM, Lowry W, Dorshkind K. The expansion of thymopoiesis in neonatal mice is dependent on expression of high mobility group a 2 protein (Hmga2).. PloS one, 2015.
- Prashad SL, Calvanese V, Yao CY, Kaiser J, Wang Y, Sasidharan R, Crooks G, Magnusson M, Mikkola HK. GPI-80 defines self-renewal ability in hematopoietic stem cells during human development.. Cell stem cell, 2014.
- Chung B, Montel-Hagen A, Ge S, Blumberg G, Kim K, Klein S, Zhu Y, Parekh C, Balamurugan A, Yang OO, Crooks GM. Engineering the human thymic microenvironment to support thymopoiesis in vivo.. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2014.
- Kim WS, Zhu Y, Deng Q, Chin CJ, He CB, Grieco AJ, Dravid GG, Parekh C, Hollis RP, Lane TF, Bouhassira EE, Kohn DB, Crooks GM. Erythropoiesis from human embryonic stem cells through erythropoietin-independent AKT signaling.. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2014.
- Kohn LA, Seet CS, Scholes J, Codrea F, Chan R, Zaidi-Merchant S, Zhu Y, De Oliveira S, Kapoor N, Shah A, Abdel-Azim H, Kohn DB, Crooks GM. Human lymphoid development in the absence of common γ-chain receptor signaling.. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2014.
- Kim S, Kim N, Presson AP, Metzger ME, Bonifacino AC, Sehl M, Chow SA, Crooks GM, Dunbar CE, An DS, Donahue RE, Chen IS. Dynamics of HSPC repopulation in nonhuman primates revealed by a decade-long clonal-tracking study.. Cell stem cell, 2014.
- Wu L, Bluguermann C, Kyupelyan L, Latour B, Gonzalez S, Shah S, Galic Z, Ge S, Zhu Y, Petrigliano FA, Nsair A, Miriuka SG, Li X, Lyons KM, Crooks GM, McAllister DR, Van Handel B, Adams JS, Evseenko D. Human developmental chondrogenesis as a basis for engineering chondrocytes from pluripotent stem cells.. Stem cell reports, 2013.
- Corselli M, Chin CJ, Parekh C, Sahaghian A, Wang W, Ge S, Evseenko D, Wang X, Montelatici E, Lazzari L, Crooks GM, Péault B. Perivascular support of human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells.. Blood, 2013.
- Hsieh YT, Gang EJ, Geng H, Park E, Huantes S, Chudziak D, Dauber K, Schaefer P, Scharman C, Shimada H, Shojaee S, Klemm L, Parameswaran R, Loh M, Kang ES, Koo HH, Hofmann WK, Andrade J, Crooks GM, Willman CL, Müschen M, Papayannopoulou T, Heisterkamp N, Bönig H, Kim YM. Integrin alpha4 blockade sensitizes drug resistant pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia to chemotherapy.. Blood, 2013.
- Parekh C, Crooks GM. Critical differences in hematopoiesis and lymphoid development between humans and mice.. Journal of clinical immunology, 2012.
- Nsair A, Schenke-Layland K, Van Handel B, Evseenko D, Kahn M, Zhao P, Mendelis J, Heydarkhan S, Awaji O, Vottler M, Geist S, Chyu J, Gago-Lopez N, Crooks GM, Plath K, Goldhaber J, Mikkola HK, MacLellan WR. Characterization and therapeutic potential of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiovascular progenitor cells.. PloS one, 2012.
- Kohn LA, Hao QL, Sasidharan R, Parekh C, Ge S, Zhu Y, Mikkola HK, Crooks GM. Lymphoid priming in human bone marrow begins before expression of CD10 with upregulation of L-selectin.. Nature immunology, 2012.
- Parekh C, Sahaghian A, Kim W, Scholes J, Ge S, Zhu Y, Asgharzadeh S, Hollis R, Kohn D, Ji L, Malvar J, Wang X, Crooks G. Novel pathways to erythropoiesis induced by dimerization of intracellular C-Mpl in human hematopoietic progenitors.. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2012.
- Cuddihy AR, Suterwala BT, Ge S, Kohn LA, Jang J, Andrade J, Wang X, Crooks GM. Rapid thymic reconstitution following bone marrow transplantation in neonatal mice is VEGF-dependent.. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 2012.
- Hacke K, Szakmary A, Cuddihy AR, Rozengurt N, Lemp NA, Aubrecht J, Lawson GW, Rao NP, Crooks GM, Schiestl RH, Kasahara N. Combined preconditioning and in vivo chemoselection with 6-thioguanine alone achieves highly efficient reconstitution of normal hematopoiesis with HPRT-deficient bone marrow.. Experimental hematology, 2011.
- Dravid GG, Crooks GM. The challenges and promises of blood engineered from human pluripotent stem cells.. Advanced drug delivery reviews, 2011.
- Dravid G, Zhu Y, Scholes J, Evseenko D, Crooks GM. Dysregulated gene expression during hematopoietic differentiation from human embryonic stem cells.. Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy, 2010.
- Andrade J, Ge S, Symbatyan G, Rosol MS, Olch AJ, Crooks GM. Effects of sublethal irradiation on patterns of engraftment after murine bone marrow transplantation.. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 2010.
- Akagi T, Thoennissen NH, George A, Crooks G, Song JH, Okamoto R, Nowak D, Gombart AF, Koeffler HP. In vivo deficiency of both C/EBPβ and C/EBPε results in highly defective myeloid differentiation and lack of cytokine response.. PloS one, 2010.
- Evseenko D, Zhu Y, Schenke-Layland K, Kuo J, Latour B, Ge S, Scholes J, Dravid G, Li X, MacLellan WR, Crooks GM. Mapping the first stages of mesoderm commitment during differentiation of human embryonic stem cells.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2010.
- Holt N, Wang J, Kim K, Friedman G, Wang X, Taupin V, Crooks GM, Kohn DB, Gregory PD, Holmes MC, Cannon PM. Human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells modified by zinc-finger nucleases targeted to CCR5 control HIV-1 in vivo.. Nature biotechnology, 2010.
- Pais E, Park J, Alexy T, Nikolian V, Ge S, Shaw K, Senadheera S, Hardee CL, Skelton D, Hollis R, Crooks GM, Kohn DB. Regulated expansion of human pancreatic beta-cells.. Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy, 2010.
- Sumiyoshi T, Holt NG, Hollis RP, Ge S, Cannon PM, Crooks GM, Kohn DB. Stable transgene expression in primitive human CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, using the Sleeping Beauty transposon system.. Human gene therapy, 2009.
- Evseenko D, Schenke-Layland K, Dravid G, Zhu Y, Hao QL, Scholes J, Wang XC, Maclellan WR, Crooks GM. Identification of the critical extracellular matrix proteins that promote human embryonic stem cell assembly.. Stem cells and development, 2009.
- Shah AJ, Kapoor N, Cooper RM, Crooks GM, Lenarsky C, Abdel-Azim H, Wu SQ, Wilson K, Weinberg KI, Parkman R, Kohn DB. Pre- and post-natal treatment of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.. Pediatric blood & cancer, 2009.
- Cuddihy AR, Ge S, Zhu J, Jang J, Chidgey A, Thurston G, Boyd R, Crooks GM. VEGF-mediated cross-talk within the neonatal murine thymus.. Blood, 2008.
- Shah AJ, Epport K, Azen C, Killen R, Wilson K, De Clerck D, Crooks G, Kapoor N, Kohn DB, Parkman R, Weinberg KI. Progressive declines in neurocognitive function among survivors of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for pediatric hematologic malignancies.. Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology, 2008.
- Chu M, Siegmund KD, Hao QL, Crooks GM, Tavaré S, Shibata D. Inferring relative numbers of human leucocyte genome replications.. British journal of haematology, 2008.
- Abdel-Azim H, Zhu Y, Hollis R, Wang X, Ge S, Hao QL, Smbatyan G, Kohn DB, Rosol M, Crooks GM. Expansion of multipotent and lymphoid-committed human progenitors through intracellular dimerization of Mpl.. Blood, 2008.
- Hao QL, George AA, Zhu J, Barsky L, Zielinska E, Wang X, Price M, Ge S, Crooks GM. Human intrathymic lineage commitment is marked by differential CD7 expression: identification of CD7- lympho-myeloid thymic progenitors.. Blood, 2007.
- Rountree CB, Barsky L, Ge S, Zhu J, Senadheera S, Crooks GM. A CD133-expressing murine liver oval cell population with bilineage potential.. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2007.
- Payne KJ, Crooks GM. Immune-cell lineage commitment: translation from mice to humans.. Immunity, 2007.
- Rountree CB, Wang X, Ge S, Barsky L, Zhu J, Gonzales I, Crooks GM. Bone marrow fails to differentiate into liver epithelium during murine development and regeneration.. Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.), 2007.
- Shah AJ, Kapoor N, Crooks GM, Weinberg KI, Azim HA, Killen R, Kuo L, Rushing T, Kohn DB, Parkman R. The effects of Campath 1H upon graft-versus-host disease, infection, relapse, and immune reconstitution in recipients of pediatric unrelated transplants.. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 2007.
- Garon EB, Marcu L, Luong Q, Tcherniantchouk O, Crooks GM, Koeffler HP. Quantum dot labeling and tracking of human leukemic, bone marrow and cord blood cells.. Leukemia research, 2006.
- Hollis RP, Nightingale SJ, Wang X, Pepper KA, Yu XJ, Barsky L, Crooks GM, Kohn DB. Stable gene transfer to human CD34(+) hematopoietic cells using the Sleeping Beauty transposon.. Experimental hematology, 2006.
- Engel BC, Podsakoff GM, Ireland JL, Smogorzewska EM, Carbonaro DA, Wilson K, Shah A, Kapoor N, Sweeney M, Borchert M, Crooks GM, Weinberg KI, Parkman R, Rosenblatt HM, Wu SQ, Hershfield MS, Candotti F, Kohn DB. Prolonged pancytopenia in a gene therapy patient with ADA-deficient SCID and trisomy 8 mosaicism: a case report.. Blood, 2006.
- Ge S, Crooks GM, McNamara G, Wang X. Fluorescent immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization analysis of mouse pancreas using low-power antigen-retrieval technique.. The journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society, 2006.
- Wang X, Ge S, Gonzalez I, McNamara G, Rountree CB, Xi KK, Huang G, Bhushan A, Crooks GM. Formation of pancreatic duct epithelium from bone marrow during neonatal development.. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2006.
- Crooks GM, Weinberg K, Mackall C. Immune reconstitution: from stem cells to lymphocytes.. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 2006.
- Shah AJ, Kapoor N, Crooks GM, Parkman R, Weinberg KI, Wilson K, Kohn DB. Successful hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for Niemann-Pick disease type B.. Pediatrics, 2005.
- Jodele S, Chantrain CF, Blavier L, Lutzko C, Crooks GM, Shimada H, Coussens LM, Declerck YA. The contribution of bone marrow-derived cells to the tumor vasculature in neuroblastoma is matrix metalloproteinase-9 dependent.. Cancer research, 2005.
- Baev DV, Peng XH, Song L, Barnhart JR, Crooks GM, Weinberg KI, Metelitsa LS. Distinct homeostatic requirements of CD4+ and CD4- subsets of Valpha24-invariant natural killer T cells in humans.. Blood, 2004.
- Wang X, Rosol M, Ge S, Peterson D, McNamara G, Pollack H, Kohn DB, Nelson MD, Crooks GM. Dynamic tracking of human hematopoietic stem cell engraftment using in vivo bioluminescence imaging.. Blood, 2003.
- Payne KJ, Huang G, Sahakian E, Zhu JY, Barteneva NS, Barsky LW, Payne MA, Crooks GM. Ikaros isoform x is selectively expressed in myeloid differentiation.. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2003.
- Wang X, Ge S, McNamara G, Hao QL, Crooks GM, Nolta JA. Albumin-expressing hepatocyte-like cells develop in the livers of immune-deficient mice that received transplants of highly purified human hematopoietic stem cells.. Blood, 2003.
- Price MA, Case SS, Carbonaro DA, Yu XJ, Petersen D, Sabo KM, Curran MA, Engel BC, Margarian H, Abkowitz JL, Nolan GP, Kohn DB, Crooks GM. Expression from second-generation feline immunodeficiency virus vectors is impaired in human hematopoietic cells.. Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy, 2002.
- Payne KJ, Crooks GM. Human hematopoietic lineage commitment.. Immunological reviews, 2002.
- Shah AJ, Kapoor N, Weinberg KI, Crooks GM, Kohn DB, Lenarsky C, Kaufman F, Epport K, Wilson K, Parkman R. Second hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in pediatric patients: overall survival and long-term follow-up.. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 2002.