MCS Featured Lab - April 2021
Joshua Scallan, Ph.D.
Morsani College of Medicine | Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
In addition to the blood vasculature, the body has a second vasculature composed of lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic vessels promote fluid homeostasis, immune responses, and lipid and cholesterol absorption, but also serve as routes for cancer cell metastasis. Yet, the molecules that regulate lymphatic vessel function are poorly understood. Our laboratory employs genetic mouse models to identify genes and signaling pathways that regulate the growth of valves inside lymphatic vessels and regulate the permeability of lymphatic vessels. When these signaling pathways are altered, lymphatic valves disintegrate and lymphatic vessels become leaky, which will promote edema and impair immune responses. We have recently begun a second line of investigation to explore how gene mutations in patients with lymphatic malformations change permeability and valve stability.
Top lesson you have learned in your career:
Always follow the science.
- Yang Y, Cha B, Motawe ZY, Srinivasan RS, Scallan JP, VE-cadherin is required for lymphatic valve formation and maintenance. Cell Rep. 2019 Aug 27;28(9):2397-2412.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.07.072. (PMID: 31461654)
- Iyer D, Jannaway M, Yang Y, and Scallan JP. Lymphatic Valves and Lymph Flow in Cancer-Related Lymphedema. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Aug 15;12(8):2297. doi: 10.3390/cancers12082297. (PMID: 32824219)