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Jennifer S. Fang, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
Tulane University

Primary Research:

Our group is interested in better understanding how blood vessels grow, remodel, and reorganize during healthy tissue development to form mature structures such as arteries, capillaries and veins, and how this process might go awry in disease leading to disorganized and malformed blood vessels that can significantly compromise patient health. To address this question, we use a combination of in vivo animal models and novel microphysiological organ-on-a-chip microfluidic platforms to study how cells of the vasculature communicate with one another in growing and remodeling blood vessels -- in health and in disease.

One area of active research is to explore how cell-cell miscommunication leads to vascular malformations in the rare disease, Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT). To study this question, we have developed the first HHT-on-a-chip microphysiological model, in which we are able to engineer artificial blood vessels to grow and remodel in a microfluidic platform. We use this model in conjunction with transgenic animal models to study vessel malformations over the course of their development.

Another area of interest is to study the regulatory signals that control sprouting angiogenesis during development and in diseases such as cancer. We are specifically interested in understanding the cell signaling pathways that control how endothelial cells enter and exit an angiogenic state, and how this might become dysregulated under pathological settings leading to uncontrolled vessel growth.

Laboratory web site URL:

http://fanglab.tulane.edu

Recent Presentations: 

Platform Presentations

  1. “Gap Junctions in the Vasculature.” 2023 Vasculata (New Orleans, LA)
  2. “Generation of Vascular Malformations in a Novel HHT-on-a-Chip Microphysiological Model.” 2022 International Vascular Biologists’ Meeting (San Francisco, CA)
  3. “An HHT-on-a-Chip Microphysiological Model that Recapitulates Vascular Lesions of Patients.” 2022 International CureHHT Scientific Meeting (Cascais, Portugal)
  4. “Microphysiological Systems to Model Vascular Malformations.” 17th NIH/NCATS Tissue Chips Meeting (virtual)

Panel Discussions and Workshops

  1. “Grant-Writing as an Internationally-Trained Scientist”, panelist. 2023 Vascular Biology (Newport, RI)
  2. “In Vitro Models of Sprouting Angiogenesis.” 2023 Vasculata (New Orleans, LA)
  3. “Lessons Learned Engineering Microphysiological Systems as a Physiologist.” 2022 MPS World Summit (New Orleans, LA)

Departmental Seminars

  1. “Vessel-on-a-Chip Platforms for Studying Vascular Malformations.” Department of Pharmacology, Tulane University (2023, New Orleans, LA)
  2. “A novel HHT-on-a-chip platform for studying the role of connexins in vascular malformation.” Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Tulane University (2023, New Orleans, LA)
  3. “A novel HHT-on-a-chip platform for studying the role of connexins in vascular malformation.” Department of Physiology, Tulane University (2023, New Orleans, LA)
  4. “A novel HHT-on-a-chip platform for studying the role of connexins in vascular malformation.” Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University (2022, New Orleans, LA)

Selected Posters

  1. Looker, E.K., Aan, F., Hatch, C.J., Hughes, C.C.W., Matter, M.L., Fang, J.S. “Cx40 Suppresses Sprouting Angiogenesis In Vitro.” 2023 Vascular Biology (Newport, RI)
  2. Looker, E.K., Aan, F., Matter, M.L., Fang, J.S. “Investigating opposing roles of pro- and anti-angiogenic connexins in vascular malformation.” 2023 Vasculata (New Orleans, LA)
  3. Thapa, K., Hultgren, N., Hatch, C.J., Hughes, C.C.W, and Fang, J.S. “Exploring the role of partial endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition in angiogenesis during development and in cancer.” 2023 Vasculata (New Orleans, LA)

 

 

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