Profile: Scientist, University Health Network
Blood vessels play a prominent role in various human pathologies, including cancer, where the growth of new blood vessels allows for continued tumour growth, and various retinopathies where uncontrolled pathological vascular growth precludes normal vision. However, new vessel growth is crucial for regenerative processes such as wound healing. Unfortunately, natural regenerative vascular growth is often insufficient to heal the catastrophic damage that occurs following a severe acute ischemic insult (such as a myocardial infarction). Increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing blood vessel development is crucial to innovation in therapies that either dampen pathological, or promote physiological, vascular growth.
Our research program is focused on determining the molecular mechanisms that direct the specification of endothelial cells that line blood vessels (vasculogenesis), and that control the formation and growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis)