Defining mechanisms behind the formation of hierarchical vascular networks (2020–2023)
Blood vessels form complex branched networks composed of arteries, capillaries and veins. The development and maintenance of different vessel systems (arteries and veins) is dependent on cell adherence properties within each vessel, yet how these are established and maintained remains unknown. This project aims to analyse the differences in junctional dynamics between sprouting arteries and veins, and to identify arterial and venous signalling networks that make and maintain vessel identity. This project will reveal how adhesiveness is regulated in order to make a hierarchical, functional vascular network, with implications for engineering of functional, vascularised organs in the biotech sector.