Professor Andrew Baker, University of Edinburgh
Dr Igor Ulitsky, Weizmann Institute of Science
Poor blood flow the muscle, in the case of both the legs (peripheral vascular disease) and the heart (cardiac disease) is of major clinical importance. This is called tissue ischemia. It is essential to understand both how the process develops pathologically and also to understand potential new approaches to treatment.
This this project, the researchers are interested in how they can form new blood vessels to help regenerate the vascular system in ischemic tissue. They are using a model system to understand how one of the cell types that is very important in new blood vessel formation – the vascular endothelium – can regenerate. Their robust system is based on the production of these cells from human embryonic stem cells, and has the potential to produce these cells in the lab.
By understanding what drives their production of vascular endothelium cells, the researchers hope to understand how the endothelium develops in the body, and hence develop strategies to activate this in patients.