ATTRACTing scientists to Duke to study vascular biology and stroke

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ATTRACTing scientists to Duke to study vascular biology and stroke

On Thursday, October 11, Doug Marchuk will host an all-day meeting with seven other project leaders from the Leducq Foundation Network, ATTRACT: Arterial flow as an attractor for endothelial cell migration. Marchuk is serving as the North American coordinator on this grant. During the meeting, each project leader will present their current research for the project.

The ATTRACT project is investigating the role endothelial cells migration may play in disease. It was once thought that endothelial cells were an immobile interface between the blood flowing past them and the tissues perfused with oxygen. However, discoveries by members of this team have shown that endothelial cells can change position within an artery and migrate in the opposite direction of blood flow. The ATTRACT team will investigate the principles of normal arterial function and how the endothelial cell movement and repair are often inadequate after a stroke. They hope to learn how to harness the beneficial movement of endothelial cells so patients with neurovascular disease may experience better outcomes.

The Foundation Leducq Transatlantic Networks of Excellence Program provides $6 million over five years to teams of international researchers working collaboratively in areas of cardiovascular and neurovascular disease. The ATTRACT network was funded in 2017

Aside from Marchuk, ATTRACT has project leaders from Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin; University of Edinburg, United Kingdom; Uppsala University, Sweden; Instittuto de Medicina Molecular, Portugal; Yale University and the Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix.

Team leaders meet twice a year to discuss current research and progress; trainees involved in the project attend one meeting a year.

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