The Fang laboratory is focused on exploring the role of lipid metabolism in vascular function, including angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, and hematopoiesis, using both zebrafish and mouse models.
One significant part of the laboratory research stems from Dr. Fang’s prior discovery that Apolipoprotein (APOA1) binding protein (AIBP) controls angiogenesis via regulation of caveolae/lipid rafts and the associated VEGFR2 signaling (Nature 2013; Circ Res 2017; Commun Biol 2020). Our ongoing research will further define the detailed signaling machinery in distinct vascular beds. In addition, we are also interested in how lipid metabolism controls hematopoiesis. Our pioneer studies illuminate that SREBP2 – the master regulator of cholesterol biosynthesis – dictates hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) specification in development and HSPC expansion in hypercholesterolemia (Science 2019). Lastly, our recent findings reveal that AIBP-mediated caveolae disruption facilitates signaling of VEGFR3 – the major pro-lymphangiogenesis receptor – by abating the inhibition of Caveolin1 on VEGFR3 (Yang X et al., BioRxiv 2020, manuscript in re-submission).
Built on these findings, we also investigate other key molecules of lipid metabolism and their regulation of angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, and hematopoiesis in development and disease. Furthermore, the Fang lab also actively pursues the translational potential of these findings because they provide new therapeutic components. Several patent applications of the Fang laboratory are pending. The Fang laboratory has a dream: that someday some of their findings will be clinically applicable to benefit patients.
The Fang laboratory philosophy:Equip yourself with the mindset of a marathon runnerbecause the scientific explorations at the edge of current knowledge limits are, most of the time, physically demanding and mentally stressful. We believe that “You never fail until you stop trying!” by Albert Einstein, provided that your experiments fail in the presence of proper quality controls. We learn to enjoy the thrill of previously unknown scientific findings – which satisfy our curiosities – more in our everyday endeavor, but less in not their final publications.
Abe, RJ, Abe, JI, Nguyen, MTH, Olmsted-Davis, EA, Mamun, A, Banerjee, P, Cooke, JP, Fang, L, Pownall, H & Le, NT 2022, , Current Atherosclerosis Reports, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 323-336. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11883-022-01011-z