Cardiovascular disease is the major killer of mankind in the western world and this statistic is likely to increase as a consequence of the increasing age of the population and the very rich western diet. Subtle changes in interactions between cells at the interface of the vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells with cellular and other components in blood and lymph can cause long lasting damage that can ultimately result in chronic vascular disorders.
The overall aim of the VITA research theme is to understand the events that underlie the interaction of vascular cells with each other and with matrix proteins, and how these change in cardiovascular disorders such as atherosclerosis, arterial thrombosis, cancer growth and metastasis, ischaemia reperfusion injury and chronic vascular inflammation.
In the VITA research theme, we are studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate activation of platelets, vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells and leukocytes, and the factors that govern their interaction with each other and with matrix under static and flow conditions. Translational components of this work include studies on patients with platelet-based bleeding disorders (GAPP study), novel genes in endothelial cells in tumours, molecular basis of atherosclerosis and ischaemia-reperfusion injury, using human and mouse models.