Research Projects

Our research aims to define organizing principles underlying 1) CNS vascular heterogeneity and morphogenesis and 2) brain barrier formation.

Brain Vascular Heterogeneity

In the vertebrate brain, vascular endothelial cells exhibit heterogeneous structural and functional properties that are critical to mirror the brain’s diverse functions.  Two striking examples of this heterogeneity are the vECs that form the semi-permeable blood-brain barrier (BBB) and those that develop highly permeable fenestral pores (fenestrae). We are very interested in understanding how these […]

Blood-CSF Barrier

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-cerebrospinal fluid (blood-CSF) barrier are important CNS barriers that protect the brain from potentially harmful toxins, pathogens, and/or substances. The blood-CSF barrier is formed by tight junctions between epithelial cells in the choroid plexus, a small organ in the brain that serves to produce cerebrospinal fluid and remove metabolic wastes […]

CNS Vascular Morphogenesis

In the central nervous system (CNS), blood and lymphatic vasculature develops in very distinct and unique patterns to support diverse CNS function. The CNS parenchyma is highly vascularized, but devoid of lymphatic vasculature. In contrast, both blood and lymphatic vessels are well formed in the meninges, the protective membranes that enclose the brain and spinal […]