Visualizing Vasculature: Uncovering Essential Proteins

Visualizing Vasculature: Uncovering Essential Proteins

Collections: Image Award Winners, Metastasis, Cancer Discovery Science

2020 Award Winner

Genevieve Abbruzzese, Jeffrey Kuhn, Thao Nguyen, Richard Hynes

Koch Institute at MIT, MIT Department of Biology

The vasculature, or circulatory system, carries blood throughout the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues.

The Hynes Lab uses the retina to study vascular development and identify new proteins that contribute to the network’s growth. Here, blood vessels (green) grow radially outward, guided by the underlying protein scaffold (red). At the edges, sprouting vessels receive signals from the surrounding proteins.

Because cancer cells also rely on vasculature for their growth and survival, the proteins uncovered could offer new pathways for anti-tumor intervention.

blood vessels on top of a protein matrix


Genevieve Abbruzzese shares the story behind her award-winning image.

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