Gay M. Crooks*

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

310-825 3535

Laboratory Address:
610 Charles E. Young Dr, East
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Mailing Address:
A7-149 CHS
10833 Le Conte Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Address:
610 Charles E. Young Dr, East
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Phone Number:
310-206-0205

Websites

Web-Profile

Crooks research lab home page

Affiliations

Co-Director, Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research
Director, JCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program Area

Research Interests

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.

Biography

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.

Publications