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School of Medicine
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The lab studies the development of blood vessels in the eye and how they change in diseases like retinopathy of prematurity, sickle cell and diabetic retinopathies, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The ultimate goal of the lab is to develop a new generation of therapies that, when delivered to the eye, allow the tissues of the eye to essentially treat themselves only when needed. The goal is to have the tissues generate their own therapeutics when needed, and stop production when the condition is resolved. These therapies will help reduce the need for repeated treatment and provide focused therapy, rather than treating the body with chemicals.
Systems Biology Laboratory
The Systems Biology Lab applies methods of multiscale modeling to problems of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and examines the systems biology of angiogenesis, breast cancer and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Using coordinated computational and experimental approaches, the lab studies the mechanisms of breast cancer tumor growth and metastasis to find ways to inhibit those processes.
We use bioinformatics to discover novel agents that affect angiogenesis and perform in vitro and in vivo experiments to test these predictions. In addition we study protein networks that determine processes of angiogenesis, arteriogenesis and inflammation in PAD. The lab also investigates drug repurposing for potential applications as stimulators of therapeutic angiogenesis, examines signal transduction pathways and builds 3D models of angiogenesis.
The lab has discovered over a hundred novel anti-angiogenic peptides, and has undertaken in vitro and in vivo studies testing their activity unde...r different conditions. We have investigated structure-activity relationship (SAR) doing point mutations and amino acid substitutions and constructed biomimetic peptides derived from their endogenous progenitors. They have demonstrated the efficacy of selected peptides in mouse models of breast, lung and brain cancers, and in age-related macular degeneration.