Diana Ramirez-Bergeron , PhD, MS

Associate Professor
Department of Medicine
School of Medicine
Associate Professor
Cardiovascular Research Institute
School of Medicine
Assistant Professor
Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences
School of Medicine
Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology
School of Medicine
Co-Director, Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program
Office of Graduate Education
School of Medicine
Member
Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research Information

Research Projects

The vascular system is responsible for the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to all our bodies and is the first organ system to develop. Vessels form through two mechanisms:

  1. Vasculogenesis imparts the generation of endothelial progenitors and the de novo formation of vessels
  2. Angiogenesis is responsible for the growth and maturation of vessels by various processes including, sprouting, ECM production, and recruitment of supporting mural cells.

Both of these processes are regulated by the transcriptional protein complex Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF). HIF is and essential oxygen sensor that activates an adaptive response to compensate hypoxia and is known to regulate various steps in vascular development and pathologies. Abrogation of the ARNT (arylhydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator) subunit of the HIF heterodimer results in embryonic lethality by 10.5 days postcoitum (dpc) associated with various cardiovascular defects.

Using a mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation system, we have determined that ARNT is required for the development of hemangioblasts, a critical cardiovascular stem cell progenitor. We are currently investigating the environmental influence of hypoxia on the behavior of endothelial cells by examining how it directs the temporal activity of VEGF signals. We are exploring similar analysis using in vivo models and HIF’s requirements in vascular smooth muscle cells. We are interested in defining the role of endothelial-HIF in stem cell niches and are currently focusing on the bone marrow’s vascular stem cell niche.

External Appointments

Investigator, Developmental Biology and Pediatric Disorders
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
2006
2007
Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
2006
2007
Instructor
University of Pennsylvania
2003
2006

Publications

Education

Doctor of Philosophy
Immunology
University of Rochester
1997
Master of Science
Biology
Florida International University
1990
Bachelor of Science
Biology
Florida International University
1986