Yang Group

Laboratory of Vascular Biology

Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease.

It is characterized by formation of the so-called atheromata or atherosclerotic plaques which are initiated and driven by chronic inflammations, leading to functional changes of vascular cells.

Recent studies suggest that vascular injury occurs not only from the endothelial layer but may also from the adventitial layer including periadventitial adipose tissues. Indeed, the inflammatory cells such as monocytes/macrophages and T-lymphocytes are accumulated in the intima as well as in adventitia/periadventitial adipose tissues in atherosclerosis.

Aging and obesity are, among others, the important risk factors for atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. Our ongoing projects are using integrative research approaches ranging from genetic modifications, to signal transductions, to cellular functional analysis, and to whole body in vivo (physio)pathological experimental models to investigate the following aspects of pathogenesis of vascular disease. 

Main lines of research

  • Research Interest

    Main research topic: Cardiovascular Biology - Atherosclerosis, Metabolic stress- and Aging-Associated Vascular Diseases  

    Subtopic: Circadian Regulation of Vascular Functions

    Keywords:   Endothelial function, Macrophage phenotype, Adipocyte biology, Insulin resistance, Aging, Signal transduction, Oxidative stress

     

    Questions addressed: Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease. It is characterized by formation of the so-called atheromata or atherosclerotic plaques which are initiated and driven by chronic inflammations, leading to functional changes of vascular cells. Recent studies suggest that vascular injury occurs not only from the endothelial layer but may also from the adventitial layer including periadventitial adipose tissues. Indeed, the inflammatory cells such as monocytes/macrophages and T-lymphocytes are accumulated in the intima as well as in adventitia/periadventitial adipose tissues in atherosclerosis. Aging and obesity are, among others, the important risk factors for atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. Our ongoing projects are using integrative research approaches ranging from genetic modifications, to signal transductions, to cellular functional analysis, and to whole body in vivo (physio)pathological experimental models to investigate the following aspects of pathogenesis of vascular disease.

     

    Atherosclerosis and risk factors:

    (1)   How do endothelial cells and macrophages regulate atherosclerotic plaque formation and stability?

    (2)   How do aging, insulin resistance under metabolic stress conditions, and circadian gene defect impact vascular cell, adipocyte and inflammatory cell functions?

    (3)   How do the functional changes occur under the conditions and what are the underlying signal transduction mechanisms?

    (4)   Do interventions of the signal transductions pathways in vascular cells and inflammatory cells modify cell-cell interactions and protect against cardiovascular diseases under the pathological conditions?

Zhihong Yang

Ordentliche-r Professor-in

Büro PER 09 - 1.101
+41 26 300 8593

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