This proposal outlines a 5-year plan for the career development of Kevin Whitehead to build upon his research training received as a Pfizer postdoctoral research fellow and to facilitate his transition to independence and excellence in the field of vascular developmental biology. Dean Li, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, a recognized leader in the field of vascular developmental biology, will serve as sponsor. Additional scientific and career advice will be obtained from co-sponsor Guy Zimmerman, Professor of Medicine and chair of the program in Human Molecular Biology and Genetics (HMBG) and a recognized expert in vascular cell biology, integrins and selectins. This work will be done in collaboration with Douglas Marchuk, Associate Professor of Genetics at Duke University, and Antonio Duarte, Auxiliary Professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Lisbon, Portugal. In addition, a scientific advisory committee will be formed to provide scientific and career advice. Previous work demonstrated an important role in arterial development for Ccm1, a gene responsible for a subset of CCM cases in humans. Proposed research will address the hypothesis that arterial development requires the expression of Ccm1, Ccm2 and Ccm3.
Specific aims i nclude: 1) Describe the first developmental role of CCM genes by studying null mutants. 2) Determine the cellular basis for vascular defects, by studying conditional mutants with neural or endothelial mutations of the CCM genes. 3) Describe the cellular basis of CCM gene function by examining the endothelial cell culture phenotype resulting from a lack of CCM gene expression in endothelial cells or adjacent neural cells. The University of Utah provides an ideal environment for the proposed research career award. The University of Utah has excellent core facilities and a rich history of gene targeting in mice. The Division of Cardiology has a strong commitment to developing young academic faculty, and the HMBG program is unique in acting as an interface between basic and clinical science and has provided an ideal environment for the professional development of physician scientists such as Dr. Whitehead.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) (K08)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1-CSR-O (F1))
Program Officer
Carlson, Drew E
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Utah
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Salt Lake City
United States
Zip Code
Zhou, Zinan; Tang, Alan T; Wong, Weng-Yew et al. (2016) Cerebral cavernous malformations arise from endothelial gain of MEKK3-KLF2/4 signalling. Nature 532:122-6
Zhou, Zinan; Tang, Alan T; Wong, Weng-Yew et al. (2016) Corrigendum: Cerebral cavernous malformations arise from endothelial gain of MEKK3-KLF2/4 signalling. Nature 536:488
Lawton, Michael T; Rutledge, W Caleb; Kim, Helen et al. (2015) Brain arteriovenous malformations. Nat Rev Dis Primers 1:15008
Chrzanowska-Wodnicka, Magdalena; White 2nd, Gilbert C; Quilliam, Lawrence A et al. (2015) Small GTPase Rap1 Is Essential for Mouse Development and Formation of Functional Vasculature. PLoS One 10:e0145689
Whitehead, Kevin J; Smith, Matthew C P; Li, Dean Y (2013) Arteriovenous malformations and other vascular malformation syndromes. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 3:a006635
Chan, Aubrey C; Drakos, Stavros G; Ruiz, Oscar E et al. (2011) Mutations in 2 distinct genetic pathways result in cerebral cavernous malformations in mice. J Clin Invest 121:1871-81
Smith, Matthew C P; Li, Dean Y; Whitehead, Kevin J (2010) Mechanisms of vascular stability and the relationship to human disease. Curr Opin Hematol 17:237-44
Krisht, Khaled M; Whitehead, Kevin J; Niazi, Toba et al. (2010) The pathogenetic features of cerebral cavernous malformations: a comprehensive review with therapeutic implications. Neurosurg Focus 29:E2
Chan, Aubrey C; Li, Dean Y; Berg, Michel J et al. (2010) Recent insights into cerebral cavernous malformations: animal models of CCM and the human phenotype. FEBS J 277:1076-83
Li, Dean Y; Whitehead, Kevin J (2010) Evaluating strategies for the treatment of cerebral cavernous malformations. Stroke 41:S92-4

Showing the most recent 10 out of 12 publications