In This Section

Research Programs 

Michael Autieri, PhD*
Studies have linked the lymphatic system with progression of numerous vascular diseases through regulation of immune responses, reverse cholesterol transport, and inflammation.  Our work aims to link lymphangiogenesis and perivascular inflammation with endogenous anti-inflammatory cytokines to limit the progression of vascular disease.


Silvia Fossati, PhD
Defects in glymphatic clearance, the elimination of waste material from the brain, which is mediated in concert by the cerebral lymphatic, glial, and vascular systems, exacerbate the deposition of amyloid beta (Aβ) around the cerebral vessels. We will analyze the relative contribution of different cardiovascular risk factors and mitochondrial dysfunction in cerebral vascular and immune cells to the reduction of brain glymphatic clearance, and the related Aβ deposition and neurovascular toxicity.


Raj Kishore, PhD
Research Program: Kishore Lab is exploring the role of lymphatic endothelial cell-derived exosomes in neolymphangiogenesis in the setting of myocardial injury and repair. Studies are also exploring the effect of lymphatic endothelial exosomes in reprogramming of blood endothelial cells into lymphatic endothelial cells.

Xiaolei Liu, PhD*
The heart contains a complex network of lymphatics (lymphatic vessels) essential to drain interstitial fluid and for immune surveillance to maintain homeostasis. In recent years, research on cardiac lymphatics has received extensive attention as cardiac lymphatics has emerged to be a potential therapeutic target to promote cardiac function after ischemic heart disease.

Research in the Liu lab will focus on understanding the development and function of cardiac lymphatics in cardiovascular disease. We will use a variety of genetic mouse models lacking/gaining lymphatic function, in combination with high-throughput sequencing and state-of-the-art imaging, to dissect the molecular and cellular mechanisms of how cardiac lymphatics regulate cardiac regeneration (in neonates) and repair (in adult mice). The ultimate goal is to develop novel therapeutic approaches for treating cardiovascular disease.


Rosario Scalia, MD, PhD*
Our Research focuses on how leukocytes migrate from tissues to lymph nodes via lymphatics in inflammation and immunity, the role that high endothelial cells play in leukocyte trafficking through the lymphatic system, how the lymphatic system affects lipid transport in obesity and insulin resistance, and how obesity and diabetes impact the function of the lymphatic system of different adipose depots.


Douglas Tilley, PhD
Immune cells are essential to the inflammatory and repair responses following myocardial injury, and their trafficking through the lymphatic system regulates several processes germane to their function, including activation, maturation, polarization and clearance.  Our lab is specifically interested in understanding the role of immune- and lymphatic endothelial cell-specific G protein-coupled receptor signaling in the regulation of immune cell trafficking through the cardiac lymphatic system after injury.


Xiao-Feng Yang, MD, PhD, FAHA*
Dr. Yang’s laboratory uses cutting-edged -omics approaches with focuses of immunometabolism and epigenetics to study the roles of endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, macrophages, and regulatory T cells in the progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic kidney disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and other inflammations.


* Denotes Lemole Center Primary Faculty