Editorial board



photograph of Marie-Jose Goumans

Marie-José Goumans, PhD
Professor of Cardiovascular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
Marie-José has always been intrigued to understand why too much or too little TGFβ/BMP signalling has detrimental effects on cardiovascular homeostasis. Her research focusses on unravelling this mechanism in rare vascular disorders such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, and translate this to new targets to modulate the vasculature for cardiovascular repair.

photograph of Paul Quax

Paul Quax, PhD
Professor of Experimental Vascular Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center; and Head of Experimental Vascular Surgery and Director, Cardiovascular Research Program, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
His research interests are the pathophysiological aspects of vascular remodeling in general, ranging from atherosclerosis to angiogenesis, from post-interventional vascular remodeling to basic aspects of vascular and endothelial cell biology. Current research focusses on inflammatory and immune modulation in vascular remodeling and the role of non-coding RNAs.

Ayman Al Haj Zen

Ayman Al Haj Zen, PhD
Assistant Professor, College of Health and Life Sciences, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar
Dr Al Haj Zen’s research is focused on the identification of new therapeutic targets and strategies to promote functional neovascularisation and reverse the microvasculature instability in chronic vascular diseases such as peripheral arterial disease, non-healing chronic wounds and vascular dementia.

Sabine Bailly

Sabine Bailly, PhD
Director of Research, INSERM Institute and Head of Bone Morphogenetic Proteins in Angiogenesis and Lymphangiogenesis team, Laboratory BioSanté, University Grenoble Alpes, INSERM, CEA, Grenoble, France
Sabine Bailly has worked for more than 20 years on the role of BMPs in Vascular Biology. Her research focuses on two BMPs, BMP9 and BMP10, that play a key role via their binding to the endothelial receptor ALK1, in physiological and pathological angiogenesis and in particular in the rare genetic vascular disease called Rendu-Osler disease also known as Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT).

Jaap D van Buul

Jaap D van Buul, PhD
Professor of Vascular Cell Biology by special appointment, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS), University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The van Buul lab uses several cellular and molecular biology techniques to visualize the actual adhesion and transmigration of immune cells across the endothelium. The lab uses transmigration assay under physiological flow in combination with advanced confocal laser scanning microscopy and in collaboration with Airyscan and Lattice Light Sheet microscopy imaging. This allows following transendothelial migration with the highest possible resolution in 3D in time with minimal phototoxicity, enabling us to draw conclusions on the spatial and temporal regulation of all different steps of the transendothelial migration cascade. Additionally, we entered the field of optogenetics using FRET-based and light-sensitive, and membrane-targeting biosensors: a technique that reveals the localization of protein activation through the transmission of or activation by fluorescent signals. Recently, the lab started generating vessel-on-a-chip that allow us to follow leukocyte transmigration in time leaving the vascular lumen and entering the peri-vascular space using long-distance objectives. With the use of all described tools, it is the goal to understand the molecular details of leukocyte transendothelial migration to ultimately develop therapies that either promote or inhibit leukocyte transendothelial migration and vascular permeability in an organ-specific manner.

David Dichek

David Dichek, MD
Professor of Medicine/Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Dr Dichek’s research is focused on identifying molecular mechanisms of vascular diseases and on developing therapies that prevent and reverse these diseases. Current research areas include development of gene therapy for atherosclerosis, mechanisms of aortic aneurysm formation associated with abnormal transforming growth factor beta signaling and mechanisms of atherosclerotic plaque rupture.

Shigetomo Fukuhara

Shigetomo Fukuhara, PhD
Professor, Institute of Advanced Medical Sciences, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan
Professor Fukuhara’s research is focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying development, maintenance, and regeneration of vascular systems, in particular how chemical and mechanical cues regulate endothelial cell behaviour during angiogenesis and how mural cells regulate vascular homeostasis, physiological and pathological angiogenesis and tissue repair. For this purpose, his group exploits fluorescence-based live-imaging technique using zebrafish as a model animal. His research also addresses regulatory mechanisms of vascular permeability in health and disease.

Jennifer Gamble

Jennifer Gamble, PhD
Wenkart Chair of Endothelium Medicine, Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine & Cell Biology, University of Sydney, Australia
Professor Gamble’s interests lie in understanding endothelial cell function particularly in the area of inflammation. Since age is the greatest risk factor for disease, the focus of her laboratory is on endothelial cell senescence, the inflammatory profile of these cells, the molecular control of their phenotype and how they influence disease. Diseases being investigated include cardiovascular disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Fumiko Itoh

Fumiko Itoh, PhD
Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Tokyo, Japan
Fumiko is interested how TGF-β superfamily signalling control blood and lymphatic vessel functions. Her group focus on endothelial cells and try to clarify vascular diseases caused by dysfunction of blood vessels and lymph vessels. To this end, they study genetically modified mice with TGF-&beta-related molecules for elucidating the mechanism.

Elizabeth Jones

Elizabeth Jones, PhD
Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences, Leuven University, Belgium
Professor Jones is an expert in endothelial cell mechanotransduction and vascular remodelling. Her research aims to understand how the microvasculature adapts to changes in flow, including development of arterial-venous identify and network remodelling. She has a particular interest in developmental vascular biology and how the onset of blood flow affects the embryo’s development. More recently, she has begun studying how metabolic comorbidities affect the microvasculature.

Anne Lagendijk

Anne Lagendijk, PhD
Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Australia
Dr Lagendijk during her PhD and postdoctoral studies has developed a lasting fascination with cardiovascular development. Since opening her own lab in 2019, her team aims to understand adhesion mechanisms that contribute to blood vessel morphogenesis and function, both during development and in diseases such as childhood brain cancer and familial vascular malformations. Projects in her lab combine in vivo analysis of live cell behaviour in zebrafish with an in vitro model of flow-pressured 3D human micro-vessels.

Peter J Little

Peter J Little, AM, PhD
Professor of Pharmacy and Head, School of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia; and Chief Professor and Dean (Visiting), Department of Pharmacy, Xinhua College of Sun Yat sen University, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China
Professor Little is the Head of the Diabetes Complications Laboratory at the School of Pharmacy at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. The main focus of the lab is atherothrombosis with two streams: developing innovative bio-nanomaterials and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) nanosensors for molecular imaging and drug delivery aimed at identifying and characterising thrombi in cardiovascular disease; another stream studies signalling pathways in vascular smooth muscle as they relate to the expression of the genes which mediate hyperelongation of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains on the proteoglycan, biglycan where the binding of lipoproteins to the GAG chains is the initiating step in atherosclerosis under the "response to retention" hypothesis.

Paolo Maddedu

Paolo Madeddu, PhD
Professor of Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Bristol, UK
The goal of Professor Madeddu’s research consists of developing more effective strategies to treat limb and myocardial ischaemia by applying state of the art concepts in the field of therapeutic angiogenesis His research also addresses diabetes-related microvascular complications, in particular impaired angiogenesis and wound healing.

Maurizio Pesce

Maurizio Pesce, PhD
Head, Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Research Group – Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS, Milan, Italy
The goal of Dr Pesce’s research consists of developing strategies for regenerating, repairing, engineering cardiovascular tissues harnessing the new concept of cell based mechanosensation.

Li-Kun Phng

Li-Kun Phng, PhD
RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research, Kobe, Japan
Dr Phng is interested in understanding how blood vessels are shaped during vascular development, remodelling and homeostasis. Her lab combines genetics, molecular biology and pharmacological approaches with high resolution, fluorescent time-lapse imaging to investigate how endothelial cell shape and behaviours are regulated and coordinated to build vessels of specific size and architecture using the zebrafish. She is particularly interested in the interplay between haemodynamic forces and endothelial cell mechanics, aiming to elucidate the role of cytoskeleton in mediating the mechanoresponse of endothelial cells to changes in luminal forces.

Gianfranco Pintus

Gianfranco Pintus, MSc, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Research interests of Professor Pintus encompass multiple aspects of vascular biology including the impact of naturally occurring antioxidants on vascular cells function, analysis of molecular mechanisms regulating vascular remodeling during homeostasis, diseases, and aging, study of the role of oxidative stress and redox-regulated signaling in vascular biology homeostasis and disfunction, and dissection of molecular mechanisms underpinning antiangiogenic drugs effect.

Tetsuro Watabe

Tetsuro Watabe, PhD
Professor, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan
Dr Watabe is interested in the roles of signaling and transcriptional networks in vascular systems. His group is focused on how TGF-β and BMP family signals control the formation and maintenance of blood and lymphatic vessels. To this end, they aim to elucidate the mechanisms how dysregulation of these signals causes the vascular diseases.

Yanan Wang

Yanan Wang, PhD
Professor, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an JiaoTong University, Xian, China
The group of Yanan Wang’s research focuses on identifying novel targets i.e. gut microbiota and its metabolites for the treatment of obesity and its comorbidities, including metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and atherosclerosis. By using translational mouse models for developing human-like diet-induced obesity, dyslipidemia, NASH and metabolic syndrome, as well as conducting clinical trials, Professor Wang’s research aims to 1) develop microbiota-based therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cardiometabolic disorders; 2) study the role of brown adipose tissue in atherosclerosis and NASH development; 3) identify novel targets for the diagnosis and treatment of NASH.

Seppo Yla-Herttuala

Seppo Ylä-Herttuala, MD, PhD
Molecular Medicine Group Leader, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
Dr Ylä-Herttuala is focused on developing new gene and protein-based approaches for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. His group was the first in the world to use direct adenoviral gene transfer to human arteries in vivo in 1996. Major achievements include the discovery of the vasculoprotective effect of VEGF gene therapy, characterization of the vascular effects of the new members of the VEGF family including their effects on lymphatic vessels, and identification of several new candidate genes for the treatment of vascular diseases.


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