Research

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Vascular Biology Program

The Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of physiological and pathological processes that are dependent, in some way, on adaptation of the vascular system. The pathologic conditions studied range from life threatening conditions arising from short bowel syndrome in premature infants, to infantile hemangiomas, to AMD, to urinary markers of neoplasia to metastatic cancer. 

The biological processes under examination by the investigators in the VBP range widely and include matrix metalloproteases in angiogenesis, vascular development in zebrafish embryos, cellular responses to biomechanical signals, and the use of endothelial progenitor cells in tissue engineering. Approaches to these problems are characterized by innovation and insight and include a variety of techniques from the biological and physical sciences. 

Approaches and techniques currently used in the department include, molecular and cell biology, mouse and zebrafish models of disease, genetics, lithography, nanotechnology, and chemistry. The diverse background and interests of the investigators make the Vascular Biology Program a vibrant and dynamic environment in which world-class scientific research is conducted.

Our history

The Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, under the leadership of Director Marsha A. Moses, Ph.D., was founded by the late Dr. Judah Folkman, the founder of the field of angiogenesis research. Dr. Folkman based his exceptional career on the observation that tumor growth beyond the microscopic size was dependent on the ingrowth of new blood vessels, angiogenesis. 

In the decades that followed this breakthrough, collaboration with the myriad of outstanding scientists have expanded these original findings in cancer to a broad range of other pathological conditions, including age related macular degeneration (AMD), atherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Within the Vascular Biology Program there is a strong commitment to uphold the enduring qualities upon which the program was founded:

  • Intellectual freedom to pioneer unconventional discoveries
  • Scientific teamwork to forge and sustain research that ensures the full impact of discoveries
  • Commitment to helping patients now and improving care in the future
  • Interactive partnerships with our philanthropic, industrial and government sponsors
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