Role of cell death in blood vessel growth and regression

Role of cell death in blood vessel growth and regression

Details of project

Inappropriate blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) occurs during diseases such as cancer and eye diseases including diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Conversely, blood vessel regression can refine blood vessel networks, making them more efficient, or when over-activated, can cause too little blood supply resulting in tissue ischaemia. 

This project will investigate the roll of cell death pathways (eg. apoptosis) in the regulation of blood vessel formation and regression. The project will include learning skills in fluorescence immunohistochemistry along with the use of cutting-edge imaging modalities and methods for quantitative image analysis.


About our research group

My laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular regulation of angiogenesis: the growth and remodelling of blood vessel networks (Coultas et al, Nature 2005 438:937-945). This process has a critical role in a number of diseases including cancer and eye disease such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. There have been significant recent advances in our understanding of angiogenesis, yet much remains unknown about how this highly complex process works. A focus of our research is the processes and pathways that govern angiogenesis during normal development, in particular the role for apoptosis (programmed cell death). 

Recent relevant publications include: 
Watson et al, Development 2016 accepted. 
Watson et al, Cell Death Differ 2016 23(8):1371.
Koenig et al, Cell Death Differ 2014 21(11):1687.



Dr Leigh Coultas

Leigh Coultas
Laboratory Head

Project Type: