A gift to the Department of Surgery helps our physicians and scientists find new treatments and cures for serious diseases.
Rong Wang, Ph.D. is the Director of the Laboratory for Accelerated Vascular Research. Previously, Dr. Wang had the distinction of being a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Michael Bishop, MD, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Chancellor of UCSF. Dr. Wang's team is engaged in state-of-the-art research involving key proteins necessary for blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) and arterial growth (arteriogenesis). They have found that the Notch 4 protein can cause dramatic blood vessel enlargement in adult animals and that the protein called focal adhesion kinase is essential for maintaining existing blood vessel structure. The ability to encourage the growth of blood vessels can increase healing in traumatic wounds, promote recovery from strokes and heart attacks, or generate the growth of new pathways around blocked arteries in the lower limbs to reduce the potential of gangrene and possible amputation.
"UCSF scientists have discovered that a gene controlling whether blood vessels differentiate into arteries or veins during embryonic development is linked to a vascular disorder in the brain that causes stroke.
The UCSF studies were done in mice, and the new findings are the first to provide information on both the progression and regression of this particular brain disorder, known as BAVM, and to provide molecular clues into the disease, which is not well-understood and chiefly affects young people."
Vascular research in Dr. Rong Wang's lab in the Laboratory for Accelerated Vascular Research at UCSF has taken a powerful new turn with the building of a state-of-the-art two-photon laser microscope.
"We've all heard the saying 'if you want something done right, do it yourself.' Well, there's a research lab a UCSF that's done just that. And the piece of equipment they've built could give them several years head start in a critical field of research."
Wang lab researchers discovered that activation of Notch signaling in the endothelium during brain development causes brain arteriovenous malformations (BAVMs) in mice. These mice may provide a powerful new tool in which to study BAVMs, which can cause devastating stroke in young people. This report was published in the August 5 issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Rong Wang, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of the Laboratory for Accelerated Vascular Research, spoke at the Gordon Research Conference on Endothelial Cell Phenotypes in Health & Disease in Biddeford, Maine. Dr. Wang's talk was entitled "Cell-Cell Signaling in Endothelium and Arterial Venous Hierarchy".