The Vascular Biology Research Centre use a variety of techniques to decipher cellular mechanisms of vascular regulation. The focus of the Centre is on understanding the mechanisms that determine normal physiology and how these are altered in disease scenarios in various vascular beds including at the feto-maternal interface as well as systemic arteries. We are a collective of dynamic, outwardly facing individuals with an excellent track record of obtaining research funding.
The vasculature is crucial for the supply of oxygen and nutrients to organs. When arteries are dysregulated the consequences can be dire for the downstream tissues and for the individual as a whole. The Vascular Biology Research Centre work on multiple facets of vascular physiology using an array of cellular and functional techniques to understand how different vascular circulations operate under physiological conditions and how cellular process become disrupted in disease states. The centre is split into two different groups based on the vasculature under investigation.
Placental endothelial cells.
The feto-maternal interface
During normal pregnancy, changes occur to the mother's blood vessels (the spiral arteries in the uterus) which ensure a sufficient blood supply is delivered to the baby. St George’s researchers, Professors Cartwright and Whitley, in collaboration with clinicians based in the hospital, use a variety of cell biology techniques to investigate how cells of the placenta and also maternal immune cells in the uterus interact with the vascular cells of the spiral arteries leading to vessel remodelling. Professor Asma Khalil and her group based in the trust work with clinical colleagues and collaborate internationally to study complications of pregnancy, especially multiple births.
Researchers including Professor Anthony Albert, Professor Iain Greenwood, Dr Tarek Antonios, Dr Veronica Carroll (Associate), and Dr Daniel Meijles study different aspects of arterial regulation in many arterial beds with particular focus on the pulmonary, coronary, mesenteric, renal and cerebral circulations using a combination of cellular biology and functional assays including whole artery myography and single cell electrophysiology. This research concentrates on the regulation of vascular reactivity and phenotype by ion channels, receptors and post-receptor signals. Underpinning this research is a drive to determine how these regulator elements are themselves modulated by different signals including microRNA, βγ G proteins, protein kinases, molecular chaperones, transcription factors and phosphoinositides.
Vascular smooth cells stained for an ion channel, membrane marker or alpha actin.