Angiogenesis & Metabolism
The Potente laboratory focuses on the vasculature—the largest organ in the human body. We study how vascular networks develop and remodel and how their function becomes abnormal in disease states.
We are particularly interested in the role of metabolism in these processes, given that blood vessels often form in challenging metabolic environments and that diseases such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia promote vascular dysfunction. We want to understand how vascular cells perceive metabolic signals and how they use this information to build networks of organ-specific size, shape and function. We also study the metabolism of these cells to define how changes in metabolic state impact vascular growth, differentiation and function. Our goal is to identify central mechanisms of regulation whose corruption causes cardiovascular pathology. We use a wide variety of genetic, biochemical and cell biology technologies, which allow us to analyze the function of single metabolites, genes, and cells with high spatio-temporal resolution. Overall, our laboratory emphasizes collaboration and prioritizes approaches that shed light on fundamental biological principles while also pointing the way towards clinical translation.