We are interested in basic cellular and molecular mechanisms driving early blood vessel formation. We aim to study this process in the developing embryo, as well as in engineered and regenerating tissues.
The cardiovascular system is the first functional organ formed during development, arising long before other organs and tissues. Abnormalities in the assembly or function of the heart and blood vessels almost invariably lead to fetal lethality, although they are also the basis for many congenital abnormalities. Cardiovascular function is critical to the survival of higher organisms because every cell must receive nutrition and eliminate wastes via the blood.