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Molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis and vascular heterogeneity


Blood vessels play a central role in the most diverse physiological and pathological processes. Over the past few years, our group has been studying two important aspects of vascular biology: the process of formation of new blood vessels by angiogenesis and the molecular heterogeneity of vascular networks in different organs and tissues of the body. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of blood vessel formation from existing vessels (angiogenesis) is an important step towards the development of new therapies for the various diseases that have angiogenesis as a common element for the onset and progression of the disease. In this project, we will continue the studies initiated to: (a) develop two new angiogenesis inhibitors (VEGF and TIE1 pathways) and (b) study the gene regulation network of neovascularization in retinopathy. On the other hand, identifying specific molecular markers of endothelial cells from different vascular beds of an organism can contribute to understand the participation of blood vessels in the physiology of these tissues, as well as to the development of new therapeutic alternatives for the most diverse diseases, including therapies for precision (targeted to specific organ and tissues). Our group has focused its efforts to understand the heterogeneity of the cerebral vasculature and, in this project, we will expand these studies to validate a peptide motif binding brain cell junctions as a potential diagnostic/therapeutic tool, as well as expand the initial studies to identify new vascular markers associated with brain health and disease. We hope to contribute to a better understanding of the vascular contribution to the functioning of this fascinating organ, as well as the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for neurodegenerative diseases. (AU)

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