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Cambridge Cardiovascular



Supervisor: Dr Alessandra Granata and Prof Hugh Markus

Title: Developing human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) models of cerebral small vessel disease from skin biopsy tissue of patients with monogenic forms of SVD.


Cerebral Small Vessel Disease (SVD) is a major contributor to stroke and dementia worldwide, but little is known about the mechanisms that cause or propagate the disease. We are aiming to devise a 3D in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier to model SVD using patient derived iPSCs. These iPSCs will be differentiated into 3 different cells types: brain microvascular endothelial cells, pericytes and astrocytes. The resulting 3D triple co-culture model will enable us to elucidate the mechanism behind SVD pathophysiology such as the series of events leading to increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier. We hope that this knowledge will lead to the advent of new therapies to prevent the debilitating effects of SVD.

PhD Student
 Mary  Goodwin-Trotman