Our group studies the development of the embryonic vasculature with a focus on the discovery of novel genes involved in blood and lymphatic vessel development in the embryo. We are particularly interested in the development of lymphatic vessels, as the lymphatic vasculature plays critical roles in several human diseases and is a validated target for the inhibition of cancer metastasis. We study the processes of cell fate specification, precursor cell migration and the differentiation of vascular endothelial cells using the zebrafish embryo as a model system.

The approaches we use include molecular genetics (mutant identification and characterisation, as well as the analysis of key genes of interest) and high-resolution in vivo imaging of the cellular processes driving the development of the vasculature in the embryo. Ultimately, we aim to elucidate molecular and cellular mechanisms that control vessel development and to understand how the pathways and processes identified contribute to human disease.

Traineeships, honours and PhD projects include

  • Analysis of key signalling pathways in lymphatic vascular development in zebrafish
  • Molecular and cellular characterisation of zebrafish mutants with defective vascular development
  • Genome editing with CRISPR and TALENs to characterise mechanisms of vascular development and disease.

Project members

Group Leader

Dr Ben Hogan

Division Head & Group Leader, Genomics of Development and Disease Division
UQ Centre for Cardiac & Vascular Biology
Honorary Professor
Institute for Molecular Bioscience