A guest blog post by Sébastien Gauvrit, Ph.D., a LE&RN 2018 IVBM Travel Award Winner
Sébastien Gauvrit, currently a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, Germany, under the supervision of Didier Stainier received a Travel Award from LE&RN to attend the 20th International Vascular Biology Meeting (IVBM) in Helsinki, Finland. You can connect with Dr. Gauvrit and follow his work on Twitter at @SbastienGauvri1.
The IVBM was a great conference to attend because it’s one of the most significant meetings for the vascular and lymphatic field. I was able to have a global overview of the latest research and exchanged ideas and results with many researchers with similar interests. It was important to attend this meeting in order to receive feedback for my work as well as taking an active part in the research community.
During my post-doc, I have been focusing on the transcriptional regulation of blood and lymphatic endothelial cells. Notably, we identify a new role of the transcription factor HHEX during vascular and lymphatic development using zebrafish, mouse, and human cells (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05039-1). The identification of a new transcription factor regulating the development of lymphatic endothelial cells is an important step towards our understanding of how to make lymphatics and the discovery of potential new candidate genes or signaling pathways involved in lymphatic diseases.
Career and research goals
I hope to become an independent Group Leader in the near future to continue my work on vascular and lymphatic development. I will combine the zebrafish and mouse models to further understand how lymphatic vessels develop. I believe that the zebrafish is an invaluable model to discover and characterize new genes involved in lymphatic genetic disease. It has several advantages including high genetic similarity to mammals, low-cost housing, and a high fecundity rate to generate many synchronized embryos. The synergy between these two animal model systems will provide a starting point to move from fundamental to translational research.
Importance of lymphatic research
Lymphatic research is crucial because lymphatic vessels have been demonstrated to be important players in physiological and pathological contexts such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and inflammation. Recently, the discovery of uncharacterized lymphatic networks, such as in the heart or the central nervous system, has challenged our current understanding of the homeostasis of these organs. Therefore, I am convinced that we are just at the beginning of understanding the implication of lymphatic vessels in diseases and that in the future we will improve the treatment of lymphatic disorders.