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Vascular Function in Development and Disease

In a process called angiogenesis, endothelial cells, the most basic unit of blood vessels, proliferate, migrate and collectively move to form a complex and expansive vasculature system allowing nutrient penetration to every cell in our bodies. To better understand angiogenic processes, we utilize state-of-the-art microscopy techniques and live imaging using fluorescently-tagged versions of cytoskeletal regulatory proteins in vitro and in vivo. This allows us to examine cell behavior and cellular processes during dynamic events of morphogenesis, such as lumen formation. In addition to cell culture and organotypic models of angiogenesis, our lab heavily relies on zebrafish as an experimental platform of vascular development.