Joshua Scallan, PhD – University of South Florida (Florida, USA)
The laboratory of Dr. Joshua Scallan is NIH-funded to study how lymphatic endothelial cells respond to oscillatory fluid flow. In congenital and acquired lymphedema, lymph flow is reduced, so their studies have led to a better understanding of how lymphatic vessels become dysfunctional in response to the altered fluid forces. That work has naturally led his lab to investigate how lymphatic endothelial cells from some types of lymphatic malformations respond to fluid flow. Their greatest hope is to be able to contribute to a paradigm shift in the way we think about and approach lymphatic malformations, which may lead to new therapeutic targets. The major challenge facing researchers of rare diseases is of course obtaining funding to study these diseases, which when combined are not so rare.