Research Aims & Objectives
Vascular development and regeneration
We aim to understand how individual cells acquire specific fates and functions. We are addressing these questions by studying the formation of blood and lymphatic vessels.
Details of research interests
The cardiovascular and lymphatic systems deliver nutrients and remove waste products from every cell in the body, allowing our hearts to beat, our brains to process information and our muscles to move. The innermost layer of blood and lymphatic vessels is formed by a specialized cell type known as endothelial cells, which are essential for tissue development and repair. We are studying the formation and function of these cells during embryonic development and organ regeneration to better understand their specification and diversification.
During embryogenesis, endothelial cells initially differentiate from progenitors in the mesoderm in a process termed vasculogenesis. These naïve cells further differentiate to form arterial, venous, lymphatic and organ-specific vessel beds, acquiring heterogeneous characteristics to meet the demands of the tissues they pervade. We have shown that endothelial cells derived from distinct subsets of mesoderm preferentially contribute to different parts of the vasculature (Stone and Stainier, Developmental Cell, 2019). These findings indicate that the characteristics of individual cells may be influenced by an intrinsic, lineage-dependent molecular memory. Our ongoing work aims to understand what makes endothelial cells from distinct lineages different, and to determine whether these differences impact organ development, homeostasis or regeneration.
Oliver A. Stone
- Wellcome Trust
- Royal Society