Prof. Karina Yaniv
Organ growth, regeneration and aging: A focus on the vascular system. Regenerative biology is an emerging field of research aimed at improving health by repairing or regenerating cells, tissues and organs. Although we know quite a lot about how cells adopt their fate, we know little about how different cell types are coordinated in space and time to generate and regenerate organs and organisms. In our lab, we aim to understand the particular roles that the vascular system plays in these processes. Blood and lymphatic vessels serve not only as simple conduits for oxygen, nutrients, antigens and proteins, but, in fact, play active roles in organ growth, regeneration and aging by modulating cell proliferation, immune responses, the progression and resolution of inflammation, tissue repair, fibrosis and more.
During the past decade our lab has used the zebrafish to study different aspects of blood and lymphatic vessel formation. In particular, we take advantage of the superb abilities of the zebrafish to regenerate most of its organs, to characterize the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the involvement of the vasculature in these processes. Our discoveries have greatly contributed to our understanding of the interactions of blood and lymphatic vessels with their microenvironment, and the crucial roles the vasculature plays in organ homeostasis, disease and regeneration.