Highlights

Dr Anne Lagendijk's research focusses on the development and maintenance of a functional blood vessel network. These cells that make up the vessels continuously adapt their size, adhesiveness and compliance order to ensure the right balance between vessel integrity and permeability in a context dependent manner. Mechanical cues play a major role in the functional adaptation of blood vessels. Despite ongoing research unraveling the structural components of mechanical hubs in the cells, it is essential to assess the magnitude of forces that are transduced at these sites and the biological consequences for vessel function. She has previously developed a VE-cadherin tension biosensor line in zebrafish. This line provides the first vertebrate model that reports intra-molecular tension. Dr Lagendijk utilised this tool to identify changes in junctional organisation and VE-cadherin tension that occur as arteries mature and revealed molecular pathways that allow for this maturation to happen.

In addition, she has developed new disease models that are allowing her to probe the initiating mechanisms of vascular malformations that lead to neurological deficits and stroke with unprecedented cellular and subcellular resolution. Dr Lagendijk is currently continuing on from her previous work by investigating how forces and mechanically induced pathways at distinct mechanically active sites in the cell contribute to building and maintaining a healthy vasculature.