Vincenza Caolo

My name is Vincenza and I come from a small village in South of Italy called Scario. In 2000 I moved to Bologna where I studies molecular biology, receiving my Master Degree cum laude in 2006. In July 2006, I was appointed as PhD student with a Marie Curie FP6 Early Stage Researcher Training Grant given to the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht at the department of Physiology within the group of Prof Mark Post. During my PhD, I studied the role of Notch signalling in angiogenesis and arteriogenesis.
From January 2011 to January 2014, I was working as postdoctoral researcher in the same group focusing on two new projects. The main focus of my research was to investigate Notch signalling during developmental angiogenesis using a neonatal mouse retina model. Besides Notch signalling, I also studied the role of a small cytokines CXCL1 in arteriogenesis using a hind limb ischemia mouse model.
Since April 2014, I have been appointed as postdoctoral researcher within Prof Elizabeth Jones’ lab at KU Leuven. Prof Jones has previously developed unique techniques to study shear stress effect during vascular development using an embryonic mouse model. Last November 2014, I was awarded an FWO Pegasus Short Fellowship that gave me the opportunity to investigate the link between Notch signalling, shear stress and downstream target during vascular development.
From January 2017 I will join the group of Prof Stephane Heymans to study the role of several microRNAs in microvascular diseases and related inflammation during diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Also, I will investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for microangiopathy, i.e. vessel rarefaction, a common feature of heart failure and of the initial phase of diabetic retinopathy.