Blood and lymphatic vessels are critical to human health. Blood vessels supply every tissue in the body with blood and oxygen, while lymphatic vessels pick up rogue fluids that leak into tissues from the bloodstream and return them to the circulatory system for disposal.When problems arise in these systems, the consequences can be dire and may cause diabetic retinopathy, a blindness-causing eye disease frequently seen in diabetic patients, or lymphedema, a painful swelling of the limbs. They can also contribute to cancer metastasis and atherosclerosis, among other serious conditions.My lab is specifically interested in studying the endothelial cells that make up the lining of the blood and lymphatic vessels. We study cellular glucose metabolism, which governs how these cells use sugar and convert it into energy. This process can go wrong, with either too much or too little sugar converted, and in some cases, it can contribute to disease.Using novel methods for studying these mechanisms, we hope to gain a better understanding of how to manipulate these cellular processes and develop new means of controlling the pathways that can lead to disease.