What We Do
The mammalian vascular system is the life line of all tissues and organs within the body. Stretched end-to-end, the arteries, veins, and other vessels of the human circulatory system would measure about 60,000 miles and in a given day, the human heart pumps about 1,800 gallons of blood through this vast network. Despite its quite pedestrian appearance the vasculature is not just a system of static plumbing it is a dynamic and multifunctional series of tissues. The large arteries serve to dampen the pulse of blood ejected from the heart while small arteries help to dispense oxygen and nutrients to tissues in metabolic need. Like a fine symphony conductor when operating properly, advancing age, obesity, and rare genetic mutations lead to a dysfunctional vascular system resulting in peripheral tissue damage and dysfunction. Our laboratory seeks to understand the basic mechanisms behind this dysfunction and explores lifestyle and pharmacological interventions that can restore its normal function in older or obese populations and in patients with rare vascular diseases. We utilize a translational approach to answer these questions utilizing cell culture, animal models and human arteries.