The Vascular Biology Program

Led by Nobel laureate Gregg Semenza, scientists in the Vascular Biology Program investigate many factors that influence healthy and abnormal blood vessel formation. Specific projects seek to engineer cells and scaffolding biomaterials, and to monitor the fate of cell therapies in the body after transplant using MRI, ultrasound or other imaging tools for conditions such as diabetes, cancer and stroke. Additional studies are investigating the role of hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs) — proteins that regulate both oxygen delivery and oxygen consumption — in the maintenance of cancer stem cells in breast tumors and the ability of cancer cells to stimulate blood vessel growth, evade the immune system and produce metastases that lead to patient mortality. An active drug discovery program is identifying chemical compounds that inhibit HIFs for the treatment of breast and other cancers as well as blinding eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

The Vascular Biology Program at Johns Hopkins' Institute for Cell Engineering

Researcher Gregg Semenza introduces the Vascular Biology Program, where scientists trace cells as they move through the body and study the relationship between low-oxygen conditions, blood vessel growth, and cancer.


  • Jeff W. Bulte PhD

    • Director of Cellular Imaging, The Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering
    • Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science
  • Patrick Cahan PhD

    • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Gregg L. Semenza MD PhD

    • Director, Vascular Program, Institute for Cell Engineering
    • Professor of Genetic Medicine