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Speaker: Dr Katie Bentley, Senior Lecturer, NMS King's and Group Leader: Cellular Adaptive Behaviour Lab, Francis Crick Institute
Host: Malcolm Logan
The process of new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) is highly dynamic, involving complex coordination of multiple cell types. Though the process must carefully unfold over time to generate functional, well-adapted branching networks, we seldom hear about the time-based properties of angiogenesis, despite the timing being central to other areas of biology. We recently found that tissue conditions and cell autonomous mechanisms can locally adapt the timing of collective cell migration/rearrangements and decisions, which can result in different vascular network architectures. We are uncovering a growing array of seemingly unrelated ‘temporal regulators’ (e.g. semaphorins, high levels of growth factors found in cancer and cellular processes (e.g. asymmetric cell division or filopodia protrusions) that act to speed up or even circumvent the slow Notch lateral inhibition process currently thought to govern cell decisions during sprouting. We propose that ‘temporal adaptation’ provides a novel account of organ/disease-specific vascular morphology and reveals ‘timing’ of collective behavior as a new potential target for therapeutics.