Fellows Lecture in Pairs: "Developmental origins of blood and lymphatic endothelium" and "Translational physiology: iron, hypoxia and the pulmonary circulation"

Dr Oliver Stone: “Developmental origins of blood and lymphatic endothelium”

The cardiovascular and lymphatic systems deliver nutrients and remove waste products from every cell in the body, allowing our hearts to beat, our brains to process information and our muscles to move. The innermost layer of blood and lymphatic vessels is formed by a specialized cell type known as endothelial cells, which are essential for tissue development and repair. During embryogenesis, naïve endothelial cells derived from mesoderm differentiate to form arterial, venous, lymphatic and organ-specific vessel beds, acquiring heterogeneous characteristics to meet the demands of the tissues they pervade. We have shown that endothelial cells derived from different mesodermal sources preferentially contribute to distinct parts of the vasculature. Our ongoing work aims to understand what makes endothelial cells from distinct lineages different, and to determine whether these differences impact organ development, homeostasis or regeneration.

Oliver Stone Biography:

Oliver completed his PhD at the University of Bristol studying neovascularization of adult tissues with David Bates. He subsequently undertook postdoctoral training with Didier Stainier at the University of California, San Francisco and Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, where he identified key cellular and molecular events controlling the formation of vertebrate endothelial cells. Since 2020, Oliver has been a group leader in DPAG, funded by a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale fellowship. His lab employs genetic, imaging and computational tools to investigate the impact of lineage history on the terminal fate and function of endothelial cells.

Dr Nick Talbot: “Translational physiology: iron, hypoxia and the pulmonary circulation”

I am interested in cardiorespiratory responses to hypoxia, and how an understanding of their underlying mechanisms can be translated rapidly into advances in clinical care. A particular focus has been the pulmonary vascular response to hypoxia, including the role of the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) pathway, and the extent to which the response can be therapeutically manipulated in patients with respiratory disease. We have demonstrated that alterations of systemic iron availability can have substantial effects on the response of the pulmonary circulation to hypoxia, likely through interactions between iron and oxygen sensing pathways, and we have undertaken clinical trials of intravenous iron supplementation in patients with chronic respiratory disease. More recently, we are investigating the hypothesis that abnormal hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction contributes to the pathology of COVID-19 pneumonia, both in laboratory-based studies and in the clinical setting.

Nick Talbot Biography:

Nick completed his DPhil in physiology with Keith Dorrington and Peter Robbins in DPAG, focusing on the pulmonary vascular response to hypoxia. He subsequently completed a degree in medicine, but continued post-doctoral research alongside his clinical training, initially as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow, and later as an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer. He now combines a post as a Consultant Respiratory Physician at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with a Departmental Lecturership in DPAG. His interest is in translational cardiorespiratory physiology, with a focus on iron and hypoxia.