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Benjamin Ebert is investigating the genetic mutations and biological mechanisms that lead to blood-cell cancers such as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Ebert and his team use a range of experimental approaches to uncover how the initiating somatic mutations for blood cancers alter hematopoietic stem cells to cause a premalignant state that influences non-malignant pathologies including cardiovascular disease. The team also assesses how subsequent mutations lead to progression from the pre-malignant state to MDS and acute leukemia. Studies of therapeutic agents for use with MDS and related disorders have led to discoveries about the mechanism of action of thalidomide derivatives and may inspire novel treatments that induce degradation of disease-relevant proteins.