We are excited to share that Gael Genet, a Research Assistant Professor in the Hirschi Lab, has been awarded the 2022 American Heart Association (AHA) Career Development Award. The grant will support Dr. Genet’s research on a rare genetic disorder called Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), which causes abnormal blood vessels to form in multiple organs. The primary cells affected in HHT are called endothelial cells, which line blood vessels. Dr. Genet is investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to the development of these abnormal blood vessels, with the goal of identifying new therapeutic strategies to prevent and/or regress them. One promising avenue is to repurpose existing drugs that regulate endothelial cell cycle, which could help prevent the formation or growth of these abnormal vessels.
In addition to his laboratory work, Dr. Genet is also collaborating with clinical investigators at UVA to identify gene mutations that disrupt vascular development in humans. This work could lead to improved prevention, diagnostic, and treatment strategies for HHT patients. Overall, this research has the potential to make a significant impact on the lives of people affected by HHT, and we congratulate Dr. Genet on this important recognition.