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Title page for ETD etd-06182014-141846

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Pfaltzgraff, Elise Rachel
URN etd-06182014-141846
Title Studies on the Cellular and Molecular Regulation of Cardiovascular Development
Degree PhD
Department Cell and Developmental Biology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jeff Reese Committee Chair
Chee Lim Committee Member
Ellen Dees Committee Member
Ryoma Ohi Committee Member
  • developmental biology
  • cardiovascular development
  • microtubule dynamics
  • neural crest
Date of Defense 2014-05-29
Availability unrestricted
A developing vertebrate embryo can only subsist for a finite time without a vasculature. The vascular system is one of the earliest organ systems to develop and allows continued rapid maturation of complex multicellular organisms. Failure of the cardiovascular system to develop results in early termination of the fetus. Together, my thesis research demonstrates the important implications that development and cell biology have on vascular function and repair. First, a thorough evaluation of characteristics of vascular smooth muscle cells from differing regions of the adult and embryonic aorta revealed that differences between the ascending and descending embryonic aortae converge in the adult. These data have important implications for vascular development and disease. The second story examines the cell biological implications of the loss of centromere protein F (CENP-F). A cardiac specific deletion of CENP-F results in dilated cardiomyopathy and by understanding how CENP-F alters cell biology in a model cell line, we now know how loss of CENP-F modifies cardiac biology. Ultimately, these seemingly disparate studies further our understanding of vascular biology and disease.
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