Our research is devoted to study the biology of the endothelium and its role in disease towards the development of therapeutic strategies to target this compartment. Specifically, we aim to discover the fundamental insights of vessel growth and function in developmental setting as well as to identify the pathological contexts in which the vasculature plays a critical role either intrinsically, as in vascular anomalies, or extrinsically as in cancer.
Blood vessels are crucial components of every organ, as they maintain tissue homeostasis by ensuring: (i) transport of gases, nutrients, waste products and circulating cells, (ii) blood coagulation, and (iii) vascular tone and barrier. The endothelium lines the lumen of blood vessels and regulates the dynamic passage of materials and cells, whereas mural cells adhere to the abluminal surface of the endothelium and regulate vessel growth, permeability, and function. Both excessive and insufficient vascular network is deleterious for organisms and lead to a broad spectrum of pathologies.
The overall aim of the Graupera lab is to understand the mechanisms that regulate the vasculature in development, homeostasis, and disease. Most of our research has focused on the endothelium that plays an active role in important physiological processes and diseases such congenital disorders, obesity, and cancer.
Over the past decade, we have taken advantage of the PI3K pathway as a paradigm to understand how intracellular roads regulate vessel morphogenesis, and how this knowledge can be translated into therapeutic opportunities for diseases with aberrant angiogenesis.
For our research, our lab develops unique animal models including, established cell lines, and patient-derived samples. We apply a holistic approach utilizing state-of-the-art techniques as high-throughput analysis, next-generation sequencing, single cell RNA sequencing, phosphor/proteomics, and high-resolution imaging. Our lab closely collaborates with clinicians to translate our research into the clinic at both the diagnostic and therapeutic levels.
The Graupera lab is devoted to 5 main research lines:
- Insights on developmental vessel growth and function.
- Understanding oncoproteins-related developmental disorders.
- To study tumor-stroma interaction.
- Identify vascular therapies to treat metabolic disorders.
- To study endothelial and hematopoietic cell interface