History of Vascular Biology at Weill Cornell

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Fluorescence image of endothelial cell junctions.

For the past several decades, vascular biologists at the Weill Cornell Medical College have uncovered numerous seminal research discoveries. Some examples are:

  • The first successful culture of human endothelial cells
  • Demonstration of prostacyclin (a potent vasodilatory substance) synthesis by the vascular endothlelium
  • Role of virus infections in atherosclerosis
  • Discovery of production of clotting proteins in vascular cells
  • Discovery of platelet receptors and their role in blood clotting
  • Discovery of the contributions of hematopoietic cells in angiogenesis (new vessel formation)
  • Discovery of novel genes and mechanisms in cancer metastasis
  • Role of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in atherosclerosis

Founded in 1995, the Center for Vascular Biology (CVB) was focused on several research areas — especially atherosclerosis and thrombosis — and the contributing role of the vascular system in a wide range of diseases. Previously leading the Center was its founding director, Dr. David P. Hajjar, who is currently the executive vice provost and senior executive vice dean; dean of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences; and the Frank H.T. Rhodes Distinguished Professor of Cardiovascular Biology and Genetics and professor of biochemistry and pathology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Currently, the CVB is directed by Dr. Timothy Hla, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.