Dr Sarah De Val : ‘Transcriptional pathways controlling blood vessel development and differentiation’


The aim of our research group is to understand how signals are converted into gene expression in the vasculature through the study of transcriptional regulation during both developmental and disease angiogenesis. Although often considered a homogenous entity, endothelial cells are extremely heterogeneous, varying in origin, developmental stage, between and within vessels from different parts of the vascular tree and in different organs, and at different states of proliferation and quiescence. Our approach focuses on the identification, characterisation and very detailed dissection of vascular enhancers that direct expression within different sub-groups of the vasculature, combined with a study of the roles of both known and novel transcription factors in providing the activating and repressive signals necessary to pattern this complex vascular network.