Peter Carmeliet's lab
VIB (Flemish Institute for Biotechnologies)
Vesalius Research Centre
General/Lab Fax: 32 16 34 59 90
Vascular development in zebrafish and tadpoles Our research is focused on unraveling the key angiogenic and lymphangiogenic mechanisms in health and disease, and, at the same time, has a strong interest in translating these genetic insights into the clinic by developing novel therapeutic strategies. To study vascular development in the embryo, the VRC has set-up extensive small animal facilities. State-of-the-art genetic manipulation and physiology of the mouse are being routinely used to study the role and therapeutic potential of angiogenic and lymphangiogenic candidates (see below). Compared to the mouse model, smaller animal models such as zebrafish embryos or tadpoles can be more easily and rapidly genetically manipulated. In addition, chemico-genetics offer conditional, dose-dependent knockdown of target genes. Moreover, superior imaging techniques offer unprecedented opportunities to visualize the growing vasculature in living embryos. They are therefore attractive tools to characterize the role of novel gene candidates or the therapeutic potential of novel drug candidates at a much larger scale than in the mouse. These models can thus be used to pre-screen gene candidates identified in genomic or proteomic profiling, thereby allowing one to rapidly narrow down the dozens of putative candidates to the few truly interesting (disease) candidate genes, which can then be studied by gene targeting in the mouse.
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