Biological Sciences

Shawn E. Bearden, Ph.D.

Shawn E. Bearden

Vascular Health Laboratory
Microcirculation, aging, sex, gender, exercise, cardiovascular physiology, neurovascular interactions, blood flow control

Education

Biographical Sketch

We study the structure and function of microvascular networks with a focus on the cells that line blood vessels and form capillaries, endothelial cells. Our primary interests lie at the junctions between these cells. Junctions between endothelial cells are essential for cell-cell communication (gap junctions) and to regulate vascular permeability (tight and adherens junctions). Normal function of these junctions allows proper nutrient delivery and distribution within organs such as skeletal muscle, heart, and brain while regulating what substances may pass between the blood and tissues. We use confocal and multiphoton microscopy to study the structure and function of microvascular junctions with an emphasis on cerebral vessels. These in vivo approaches are complemented by techniques in molecular biology, pharmacology, and immunohistochemistry to better understand the mechanisms of cell-cell coordination in normal and disease states. Our ongoing purpose is to identify modifiable mechanisms that may be exploited to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with vascular dysfunction. Our work is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Teaching

SELECTED PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS

(underline denotes undergraduate student, italics denotes graduate student)


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