Trafficking and secretion in the vasculature
In our lab we study the molecular mechanisms of secretion. Our focus is to understand how endothelial cells and platelets control secretion of hemostatic and inflammatory mediators in response to vascular injury or stress. Rapid release of bioactive substances by the endothelium and platelets is fundamental for maintaining vascular homeostasis and defects in secretion can underlie vascular pathologies such as bleeding disorders and cardiovascular disease. Specifically, my group aims to unravel how secretory organelles such as Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs) in endothelial cells or alpha- and dense granules in platelets are formed, how they acquire their exocytotic machinery and how they undergo exocytosis. Using ex vivo (patient-derived) blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOECs), CRISPR/Cas9-engineered BOECs and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS)-derived megakaryocytes as model systems we are systematically investigating the mechanisms that control secretory organelle biogenesis and exocytosis, in health and in the context of disease.