Zia A. Khan
MSc Northeastern University
PhD University of Western Ontario
Keywords: vascular stem cells, vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, endothelial cells, perivascular cells, diabetes, cancer, extracellular matrix
Description of Research Activities: Our research focuses on the mechanisms of vascular stem cell (VSC) differentiation and postnatal blood vessel formation in physiological and pathological conditions. We are studying chronic diabetes and infantile hemangioma as model systems to understand the mechanisms of VSC differentiation, proliferation, and regression. These model systems represent extremes in a continuum of VSC activity ranging from impaired (chronic diabetes) to unregulated (hemangioma) vasculogenesis. Elucidating the signals that regulate the VSC number, the differentiation of these stem cells into functionally-mature vascular cells, and the regression will allow us to develop better treatment options for pro- and anti-angiogenic therapies.