Georgios Galaris, MRes

I am a biology graduate from the University of Ioannina, Greece where I performed my BSc thesis on generating a method for anterior cruciate ligament rupture healing using human perivascular stem cells. This was followed by an internship at the BHF/MRC Centre for vascular regeneration, University of Edinburgh where I assisted in the isolation and characterisation of subsets of these cells with increased regenerative capacity. Next, I studied for a master’s degree in cardiovascular science at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London where I got involved in two projects; the generation and maintenance of human pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells and the role of Ras-Rgl1-Ral signaling to the anti-cancer effect of COX-2 inhibitors.

For the purposes of my PhD I will focus on the mechanisms that drive abnormal vascular development in tumors and a genetic disorder called Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT). Interestingly, both conditions show important similarities in etiopathology including formation of a dilated, leaky and tortuous vascular network due to defects in angiogenic sprouting, arteriovenous specification and mural/endothelial cell interactions. Based on our group’s findings showing that vessel stabilisation induced by targeting pericytes reduced the severity and frequency of vascular leakage in HHT patients and relevant in vitro models, we aim to better understand the pathophysiology and develop novel drugs for this disorder but also extend our concept to the field of cancer therapy. To perform these tasks new imaging technology for high-resolution detection of vessel morphology and maturation state (2-photon microscopy, ultrafast-ultrasound technology), pluripotent stem cell and animal models will be implemented.

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