Description of Research Expertise:
-Endothelial Cell Adhesion and Motility
-Lung Injury and Repair
Description of Research
The lumen of all blood vessels are lined by a single layer of cells, known as endothelial cells, that regulate the movement of fluids, solutes and leukocytes across the vessel wall and out of the circulation. My laboratory focuses broadly on these cells and the adhesive interactions of the endothelial cells with each other, with leukocytes and with the extracellular matrix. These endothelial cell adhesion interactions are critical to formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) and the recruitment of leukocytes to sites of infection and injury (inflammation), processes that are essential to repair and restoration of damaged tissue. Consequently, understanding these processes may provide new insights for the treatment of destructive and/or fibrotic lung diseases. Active projects include:
PECAM-1 and Angiogenesis: Current studies in my laboratory investigate the intracellular signaling cascades, triggered by PECAM-1, that promote endothelial cell motility and thus angiogenesis.
Angiogenesis and Post-natal Lung Development: Ongoing studies explore the role that the endothelium and molecules such as PECAM-1 might play in the post-natal formation and maturation of alveoli.
Hyaluronan Receptors (CD44 and RHAMM) In Angiogenesis: Studies are underway to fully define the activities of these molecules in mediating various functions of endothelial cells.
HA Receptors and Lung Inflammation: Ongoing collaborations with the laboratory of Dr. Rashmin Savani explore the various roles of HA receptors in lung inflammation and injury.
1. The involvement of PECAM-1 in endothelial cell motility and angiogenesis
2. The role of the vasculature in post-natal lung development
3. The role of CD44 in angiogenesis
Gaoyuan Cao, M.D. – Senior Investigator
Melane Fehrenbach, B.S. – Research Specialist and Lab Manager
Jeffery Finklestein, B.S., - Graduate Student
Jing-Xu Zhu, M.D., Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow