Richmond Home

Gary Radice's Lab

Everyone knows that that vertebrates have a heart that pumps blood through arteries and veins. Fewer people know that there is a separate system of lymphatic vessels that carry lymph. Fewer still know that amphibians, reptiles, and birds have one or more pairs of tiny hearts that pump the lymph through those vessels. We are interested in how these lymphatic hearts develop: how an embryo specifies how many hearts to make, and where to place them.
Salamanders, for example, place lymphatic hearts on each side of the trunk, under the skin, at the border of every trunk segment from forelimb to hindlimb. Frogs, in contrast, have them only one pair at the level of the level of forelimb and three or four pairs at the level of the hindlimb, but not in the region between the limbs. How do the different species count them? Why are they in the locations that they are, and not somewhere else?

Current Projects

  • What genes are expressed during lymphatic heart development?
  • What signals does an embryo use to specify the location of lymphatic hearts

Current Lab Members

Donald Pollard '16