Jesus Torres Vazquez

Jesus Torres Vazquez, PhD

Skirball Institute

Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology

Keywords
cancer, developmental genetics, genome integrity
Summary

The vertebrate vasculature displays a highly reproducible and pervasive anatomy, required for the delivery and exchange of gases, hormones, metabolites and immunity factors. Consequently, defective vessel growth contributes to the pathogenesis of multiple human diseases.

To understand the genetic pathways and cellular strategies used by developing vessels to acquire their architecture, we are using genetic approaches and imaging tools to study vascular development in zebrafish. In particular, we are focusing on answering the following questions:

  1. What are the signaling pathways that shape the anatomical pattern of the vasculature?
  2. What are the molecular mechanisms by which these pathways regulate the motility, shape and proliferation of endothelial cells?

We hope that the answers to these questions will allow us to contribute to the development of therapies aimed at the regulation of blood vessel growth, like anti-cancer treatments and ischemic tissue re-vascularization.

Why zebrafish?
The transparent and externally developing zebrafish embryo is the only genetic system in which blood vessel development can be visualized in vivo and in real time. In addition, animals with defective vessels survive for long periods of time due to passive oxygen diffusion, providing the opportunity to study both early and late embryonic stages of vascular patterning. In our studies, we employ transgenic animals carrying vascular fluorescent reporters and high-resolution imaging methods, such as confocal microscopy and microangiography to study gene-specific loss of function phenotypes generated by mutagenesis or morpholino injection.

Want to watch an example of this powerful combination? See the development of the zebrafish trunk vasculature (formation of the intersomitic vessels) in a normal embryo and in an animal lacking plxnD1 activity.

Confocal time-lapse movies of the development of the intersomitic vessels in TG(fli1-EGFP)y1 embryos (Lateral views, from 20 to 32 hours post fertilization. Dorsal is to the top and anterior is to the left). Note that in wild type embryos the intersomitic vessels sprout at regular intervals and display thin and dynamic filopodia-like projections, which are absent from the Dorsal Aorta. The path followed by the intersomitic vessels prefigures their final shape. By contrast, in animals lacking the function of the endothelial-specific receptor plxnD1 the intersomitic sprouts grow at irregular intervals and form an aberrant interconnected vascular network due to the formation of ectopic interconnections.

Learn more at the Torres-Vazquez Laboratory Homepage.

Phone

212-263-0298

Academic office

540-562 First Avenue

Fourth Floor

New York, NY 10016

Lab Website
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These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from medical subject headings from PubMed.
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Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology

PhD from University of California, Irvine

Castranova, Daniel; Davis, Andrew E; Lo, Brigid D; Miller, Mayumi F; Paukstelis, Paul J; Swift, Matthew R; Pham, Van N; Torres-Vazquez, Jesus; Bell, Kameha; Shaw, Kenna M; Kamei, Makoto; Weinstein, Brant M

Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, & vascular biology. 2016 Apr; 36(4):655-662

Ulrich, Florian; Carretero-Ortega, Jorge; Menendez, Javier; Narvaez, Carlos; Sun, Belinda; Lancaster, Eva; Pershad, Valerie; Trzaska, Sean; Veliz, Evelyn; Kamei, Makoto; Prendergast, Andrew; Kidd, Kameha R; Shaw, Kenna M; Castranova, Daniel A; Pham, Van N; Lo, Brigid D; Martin, Benjamin L; Raible, David W; Weinstein, Brant M; Torres-Vazquez, Jesus

Development. 2016 Mar 15; 143(6):1055-1055

Ulrich, Florian; Carretero-Ortega, Jorge; Menendez, Javier; Narvaez, Carlos; Sun, Belinda; Lancaster, Eva; Pershad, Valerie; Trzaska, Sean; Veliz, Evelyn; Kamei, Makoto; Prendergast, Andrew; Kidd, Kameha R; Shaw, Kenna M; Castranova, Daniel A; Pham, Van N; Lo, Brigid D; Martin, Benjamin L; Raible, David W; Weinstein, Brant M; Torres-Vazquez, Jesus

Development. 2016 Jan 01; 143(1):147-159

Nagelberg, Danielle; Wang, Jinhu; Su, Rina; Torres-Vazquez, Jesus; Targoff, Kimara L; Poss, Kenneth D; Knaut, Holger

Current biology. CB. 2015 Aug 17; 25(16):2099-2110

Minchin, James E N; Dahlman, Ingrid; Harvey, Christopher J; Mejhert, Niklas; Singh, Manvendra K; Epstein, Jonathan A; Arner, Peter; Torres-Vazquez, Jesus; Rawls, John F

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 2015 Apr 07; 112(14):4363-4368

Fang, Fang; Wasserman, Scott M; Torres-Vazquez, Jesus; Weinstein, Brant; Cao, Feng; Li, Zongjin; Wilson, Kitchener D; Yue, Wen; Wu, Joseph C; Xie, Xiaoyan; Pei, Xuetao

Journal of cell science. 2014 Apr 01; 127(Pt 7):1428-1440

Mandal, Amrita; Rydeen, Ariel; Anderson, Jane; Sorrell, Mollie R J; Zygmunt, Tomas; Torres-Vazquez, Jesus; Waxman, Joshua S

Developmental dynamics. 2013 Aug; 242(8):989-1000