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Download full programme (PDF)
For further information,
please contact:

Carol Cheneval
Coordination Symposium
T: +41 22 704 36 31
F: +41 22 704 36 37

Foundation (LJF)

Chemin Rieu 17
P.O. Box 270
1211 Geneva 17
T: +41 22 704 36 36
F: +41 22 704 36 37


Holger Gerhardt

Cancer Research UK, London

Wednesday, October 23, 13:40 - 14:05

Lecture : From Cells to Networks – Principles of Vascular Pattern Formation

1. Vascular Biology Laboratory, London Research Institute – Cancer Research UK
2. Vascular Patterning Laboratory, Vesalius Research Center, VIB, KU Leuven, Belgium

The formation of a hierarchically branched network of large and small blood vessels is critical for the growth and maintenance of healthy tissues. How the endothelial cells that line blood vessels orchestrate their behaviour, morphology and function to achieve functional blood vessel patterning is one of the most exciting questions in vascular biology. Using mosaic models of sprouting and vessel remodelling in vitro, in silico and in vivo, we investigate how endothelial cells stimulated by VEGF-A dynamically specify their behaviour and neighbourhood relationships to branch or expand new vessels. I will present new insights into the principles of vascular pattern formation, focussing on cell specification, coordination, endothelial cell competition and dynamic rearrangements during sprouting and remodelling.


Holger Gerhardt studied Biology in Darmstadt and Neurobiology in Tuebingen, Germany, where he also completed his PhD in Cell Biology in 2000. During his post-doctroral research with Christer Betsholtz at Gothenburg University, Sweden, Dr. Gerhardt conceptualized the endothelial tip and stalk cells; a discovery that kick-started his work on endothelial guidance and vascular patterning. Since 2004, he is a group leader at the London Research Institute-Cancer Research UK. Dr. Gerhardt is EMBO Young Investigator (2007) and recipient of the prestigious Lister Prize (2008). In 2009, he received the Walter Fleming Medal of the German Society for Cell Biology, in 2011 the Judah Folkman Award of the North American Vascular Biology organization and in 2012, the Hooke Medal of the British Society of Cell Biology. Since 2010, Dr. Gerhardt also heads the Vascular Patterning Laboratory at the VIB, KU Leuven, Belgium, building an integrated research team across the two institutions to combine expertise in vascular disease models with his cell biology approach to unravel principles of vascular network formation in development and disease. Dr. Gerhardt’s research activity will become part of the new Francis Crick Institute opening in central London in 2015.