Vascular Calcification Expert to Deliver Coburn Endowed Lectureship

Cecilia M. Giachelli

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Mechanisms and Regulation of Vascular Calcification” will be the subject of the Jack W. Coburn Endowed Lectureship on Friday, November 11. The lecturer will be Cecilia M. Giachelli, PhD, professor of bioengineering, adjunct professor of pathology, and adjunct professor of oral biology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Dr. Giachelli is internationally recognized for her work investigating the molecular mechanisms of vascular calcification and extracellular matrix control of cell function. Her studies have led to the discovery of key inducers and inhibitors that contribute to vascular calcification in chronic kidney disease, atherosclerosis, and medial arterial calcification. These discoveries are currently being translated to therapeutic strategies to block inappropriate calcification in disease and biomaterials development.

Dr. Giachelli’s studies of the basic adhesive interactions required for cellular growth and movement feature an emphasis on integrins and their ligands. Under normal conditions, adhesive interactions control tissue development and maintain mature tissue integrity. During wound repair, adhesive interactions change to facilitate healing and remodeling. In diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis, cellular growth and movement are aberrant, leading to invasion and pathological accumulation of cells and their byproducts. Her research has a particular focus on the role of specific adhesive ligands, especially secreted products such as osteopontin and other extracellular matrix proteins, as well as integrins, in vascular and renal models of normal homeostasis, regeneration, and disease.

Dr. Giachelli is on the editorial boards of Circulation Research and Cardiovascular Pathology. She has published more than 100 articles in top journals, including Circulation Research, Kidney International, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Journal of Biological Chemistry. She was awarded the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award and is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She has received both public and private funding for her vascular calcification research.

She received her undergraduate training in biochemistry from the University of California at Davis and her doctoral degree in pharmacology from the University of Washington. She completed postdoctoral fellowships in pathology and pharmacology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Notes

[1] ASN gratefully acknowledges Amgen for support of the Jack W. Coburn Endowed Lectureship.

October-November 2011 (Vol. 3, Number 10 & 11)