Mary Kristy Red-Horse
Development of the cardiovascular system
Embryonic development produces a highly complex organism containing innumerable cell types derived from a single fertilized egg. The first functional organ system to emerge during embryogenesis is the cardiovascular system. We study the origins of vascular cell types and how they arrange themselves to form the network that eventually permeates almost every tissue. Our current focus is on fate mapping the different sources that contribute to the coronary arteries of the heart and identifying the molecules that direct their migration and differentiation. The long-term goal is to use this information to better understand and treat cardiovascular diseases.