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We Study Vascular Changes Over Time With The Aim To Treat Diseases

Specialized blood vessels (green/yellow) form nurturing niches for osteoprogenitor cells (white) in bone
Specialized blood vessels (green/yellow) form nurturing niches for osteoprogenitor cells (white) in bone


Blood and lymphatic vessels form a versatile transport network. In addition to their conventional role as a transport system, vessels form niches for stem and progenitor cells and provide signals to maintain tissue functions. Vasculature also plays a fundamental role in supporting immune cell survival and transport. But how blood and lymphatic vessels change over time and how vascular ageing impacts the immune system, tissue and systemic ageing are not known. As opposed to the previously considered homogenous nature of vessels, recent evidence indicates the diversity of blood vessels across different tissues. Previous work shows that the skeletal system harbours specialized blood vessels (type H vessels) that drive bone formation; however, these vessels decline in ageing, leading to loss of bone mass. Blood stem cells residing in bone give rise to immune cells. Ageing is associated with a decline in the immune system and tissue functions. We examine vascular diversity and vascular changes over time with the aim of identifying therapeutic targets for ageing and immune system-associated diseases. We exploit cutting-edge 3D and 4D imaging to understand vascular and immune cell interactions over time and across diverse tissue and tumour microenvironments. The lab leads the organization of the Annual Vascular Biology Symposium.


The lab has developed and proactively shared imaging methods and tools and has generated and made available image databases as open resources for the scientific community. The lab leads the organization of the Annual Oxford Imaging Symposium. The lab collaborates closely with Miltenyi Biotec to advance tissue imaging.

Kusumbe led the set-up of the 3D tissue imaging, light sheet imaging of cleared tissues and contributed to funding acquisition which laid the foundation for the current Oxford-Zeiss Centre of Excellence (Zeiss CoE). Further, Kusumbe mentored and trained the Oxford-Zeiss Centre of Excellence (Zeiss CoE) facility staff in tissue imaging.


The lab received the 2022 and 2023 GOLD Award in recognition of exemplary actions undertaken to improve sustainability and efficiency practices as part of the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF).  


Positions Available:

Postdoc applicants: Doctoral scientists interested in joining the Kusumbe lab should contact Anjali. You should have published the first-author paper/s.

Visiting students: Prospective students interested in our lab should contact Anjali with their CV and scientific interests to inquire.

Lab Members

Recent publications


Junyu Chen (Postdoc): Current position- Associate Professor, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China

Charlotte Owen-Woods (Postdoc): Current position - Scientific Editor, Cell Press

Unnikrishnan Sivan (Postdoc): Current Position - Assistant Professor, Indian Council of Medical Research Fellow, Cochin University, India

Alexandros Chatzis (Technician/Research Assistant): Current Position - PhD student, University of York, UK

Sina Stucker (MSc Student): Current Position - PhD student, University of Marburg, Germany

Joan Mane Pujol (Erasmus funded visiting undergraduate student): Current Position - MSc student, University of Barcelona, Spain

Sin Lih Tan (Research Assistant): Current Position - Senior Scientist AstraZeneca, UK

Luciana Lippo (Research Assistant/Technician): Current Position - Senior Scientist, Cignpost Diagnostics, UK

Pepijn Saraber (MSc Student): Now - PhD student, University of Maastricht

Related research themes