Dr. Leonard Zon on NOVA’s Secret Life of Scientists

Dr. Leonard Zon, Director of the Stem Cell Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, has a secret! What do you think it is?

Find out by checking out his featured videos and blog posts on NOVA’s Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers, a web series illuminating the fun and quirky hobbies of people working in the sciences. Read about how Dr. Zon harvested his own son’s cord blood and balances medicine with music, learn about transgenic colored zebrafish, and check back later in the week for more blog posts by and about Dr. Zon. You can even ask him questions.



  • The Zebrafish Genome Project

    A complex control network of signals in stem cells and their environment regulates the cells’ unique characteristic of “stemness.” With the help of fast-breeding, easy-to-study zebrafish and genomics techniques, researchers in the Stem Cell Program at Children’s Hospital Boston are comprehensively combing the chromosomes to tease out this network. Understanding it in greater detail could give stem cell biologists a new set of tools to coax the maturation of cells. Read more.

  • See-through fish open a window on stem-cell biology

    A transparent zebrafish named Casper, developed by Richard White, MD, in the Zon Lab, allows scientists to watch blood production after bone-marrow transplant, and observe how the stem cells embed and build blood in a living fish. Even individual stem cells can be tracked, something that hasn’t been easy to do in living organisms. Casper is helping scientists understand why some transplants don’t “take,” and working to develop ways to help patients rebuild their blood faster. White is particularly interested in using Casper to understand how melanoma tumor cells, which have stem-like characteristics, metastasize, and spread. Read more and listen to clips from NPR’s “Science Friday” in which Zon and White discuss Casper’s potential.