Harmon, Andrew W.

Andrew is a first year trainee and is in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology.  His research mentor is Dr. Atsushi Nakano.  He received a B.S. degree in 2008 from The University of Delaware.

Mentor: Dr. Atsushi Nakano

Research project:

During cardiogenesis the coronary vasculature is responsible for providing the working myocardium of the heart with oxygenated blood.  While much is known about the maintenance and disease of the adult coronary, many questions remain regarding how coronary vessels are formed.   These questions include the significance of aggregates of blood cell progenitors found within the developing coronary vasculature before its connection to the systemic circulation.  Using transgenic mouse models in tandem with an ex vivo cell culture system, my project aims to identify the source and function of these blood-island-like structures.  Specifically, we hope to determine whether these cells emerge in situ from the coronary endothelium or alternatively if they arise from an extra-cardiac source in order to promote vascular remodeling and maturation during coronary development.