Decoding the role of vascular smooth muscle cell heterogeneity in cardiovascular disease by single cell genomics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: School of Medical Sciences


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) are implicated in the pathogenesis of several types of vascular diseases, such as aneurysm, atherosclerosis, vascular calcification and congenital vascular disease. VSMCs in different blood vessels are heterogeneous, behave differently in healthy and diseased states and derive from different embryonic progenitors. This project will use the latest technologies (single cell RNA-seq, single cell ATAC-seq, spatial transcriptomics) to resolve VSMC subpopulations in the developing human embryo, trace their lineage history and uncover the regulatory programs responsible for their differentiation. The discovery and characterization of disease-relevant transcriptional and chromatin signatures in VSMC subpopulations will help clarifying the basis of human cardiovascular pathology, enable diagnostic solutions for cardiovascular disease and facilitate reverse engineering of human tissues for regenerative purposes.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
MR/N013751/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2025
2453971 Studentship MR/N013751/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2021 Megan Kelly