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Interactions of hematopoietic cells with their niche control blood cell colonization and hematopoiesis but can, when perturbed, result in life-threatening diseases such as myeloproliferative disorders, bone marrow failure and leukemia. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) has been implicated in the control of hematopoiesis and blood cell homing, and is expected to contribute to hematologic disease. We investigate the role of the nervous system microenvironment in hematopoiesis, using the optically transparent larva of the genetically tractable model organism Drosophila melanogaster. In addition, our research focuses on signaling networks in development and disease, using Drosophila as a model organism.