Areas of Research: vascular development, artery formation during embryogenesis, arterial response to vascular injury in adulthood, atherosclerosis, vascular smooth muscle cell biology, and endothelial cell biology.
My research addresses the problem of vascular remodeling. Vascular remodeling is essential for the formation of a functional cardiovascular system during embryogenesis and a key pathogenic factor in most of cardiovascular disease in adulthood including atherosclerosis. The mechanisms that control the activities of vascular cells —smooth muscle cells and endothelium— during vascular remodeling are not fully elucidated. I use genetically-modified mice, tools from molecular biology and biochemistry, and human cells and tissue samples to understand molecular mechanisms in vascular cells that are required for vascular remodeling. I am particularly interested in the role of atypical cadherins, the canonical Wnt signaling, mitochondria, and cell metabolism. These mechanisms may serve as basis for novel strategies to prevent or treat cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death worldwide.