John C. Chappell, Ph.D.
Studying the molecular characteristics of blood vessels
How do blood vessels develop and change with disease?
Human capillaries are so tiny that red blood cells must travel single-file. They provide every tissue in your body with a channel to deliver nutrients and oxygen, exchange hormones and remove waste. But in some diseases - such as cancer, diabetes, and stroke - these vessels’ ordinary processes can become altered. John Chappell, Ph.D., studies how blood vasculature develops during early organ formation and during certain diseases. Increased insight into the basic mechanisms of blood vessel formation will guide the design of clinical therapies for vascular-related pathologies.
Trained as a biomedical engineer, Dr. Chappell combines computational modeling with real-time imaging of ex vivo and in vitro models of blood vessel formation to understand how cells called pericytes behave during blood vessel formation in health and disease. Understanding the mechanisms behind pericyte recruitment and investment will provide rationale and guidance for targeting pericyte-endothelial cell interactions for therapeutic benefit.
- Associate Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
- Associate Professor, Dept. of Basic Science Education, School of Medicine
- Associate Professor, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, College of Engineering
Payne LB, Tewari B, Dunkenberger L, Bond S, Savelli A, Darden J, Zhao H, Powell M, Oestreich K, Sontheimer H, Dal-Pra S, Chappell JC. Pericytes Directly Communicate with Emerging Endothelial Cells During Vasculogenesis. bioRxiv 2020.07.01.180752; (This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review.)
Payne LB, Hoque M, Houk C, Darden J, Chappell JC. Pericytes in Vascular Development. Curr. Tissue Microenviron. Rep. (2020). Invited Review. Currently Epub only.
Corliss BA, Ray HC, Doty RW, Mathews C, Sheybani N, Fitzgerald K, Prince R, Kelly-Goss MR, Murfee WL, Chappell JC, Owens GK, Yates PA, Peirce SM. Pericyte Bridges in Homeostasis and Hyperglycemia. Diabetes. 2020 Jul;69(7):1503-1517. doi: 10.2337/db19-0471. Epub 2020 Apr 22. PubMed PMID: 32321760; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7306121.
Castro R, Taetzsch T, Vaughan SK, Godbe K, Chappell JC, Settlage RE, Valdez G. Specific labeling of synaptic schwann cells reveals unique cellular and molecular features. Elife. 2020 Jun 25;9. doi: 10.7554/eLife.56935. PubMed PMID: 32584256; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7316509.
Chappell JC, Darden J, Payne LB, Fink K, Bautch VL*. Blood Vessel Patterning on Retinal Astrocytes Requires Endothelial Flt-1 (VEGFR-1). J Dev Biol. 2019 Sep 7;7(3). pii: E18. doi: 10.3390/jdb7030018. PubMed PMID: 31500294; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6787756.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Program in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Laboratory
- University of Virginia: Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering
- University of Virginia: M.S., Biomedical Engineering
- University of Virginia: B.S., Electrical Engineering
- Outstanding Trainee Oral Presentation, UNC IVB/MHI Research Symposium, 2011
- Joseph S. Pagano Award for Best Paper by a Postdoctoral Fellow for 2009, First Place, 2010
- Keystone Symposia Conference on Angiogenesis in Health and Disease, Travel Scholarship, 2010
- Gordon Research Conference on Angiogenesis, Poster Presentation Award, 2009
- University of Virginia Engineering Research Symposium, First Place, 2007
- Virginia Nanotech Student Presentation Competition (Finalist), 2006
- Seven Society Graduate Fellowship for Superb Teaching (Finalist), 2002
Article ItemJohn Chappell earns NSF CAREER award to study pericyte and endothelial cell dynamics , article
With the five-year CAREER grant, Chappell will use imaging modalities in combination with novel experimental techniques to observe pericyte and endothelial cell dynamics in various cell and tissue microenvironments.Date: Apr 30, 2018
Article ItemResearchers discover molecular mechanism of hereditary, tumor-causing disease , article
Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome is a rare disease, affecting about one in every 36,000 people, according to the National Institutes of Health. People with the disorder have an increased risk for developing cancer, but a main concern is on the syndrome’s characteristic benign growths.Date: Mar 07, 2018
Article ItemMedical honor society organizes first-ever idea exchange with biomedical researchers , article
Two members of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society recently organized an event that brought clinicians and biomedical researchers together to learn from each other and formulate ideas for future collaborations.Date: May 05, 2017
Article ItemVirginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientist awarded $2.1 million to fight heart disease , article
Steven Poelzing, an associate professor at the institute, will lead a research team to investigate how the microscopic spaces surrounding heart cells affect connections called gap junctions, which allow electrical impulses and small molecules to pass between cells.Date: Jan 10, 2017
Article ItemUVA, Virginia Tech Carilion partner to fund cross-university neuroscience research , article
The University of Virginia-Virginia Tech Carilion Neuroscience Research Collaboration have announced more than a half million dollars in grant funding will be awarded to nine research teams to tackle pressing problems in brain development and function in health and disease.Date: Dec 11, 2016
Article ItemVirginia Tech team investigates vascular health and traumatic brain injury with $1.7 million grant , article
Virginia Tech researchers are studying the role of cerebrovascular health in the onset of traumatic brain injury with the hopes of identifying new targets for safe and effective drug therapies.Date: Mar 17, 2016
Article ItemInaugural heart school events will get rescheduled , article
The public is invited to learn more about heart development and current cardiovascular research during Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute’s first heart school, held as part of American Heart Month.Date: Feb 23, 2015
Article ItemVirginia Tech Carilion Research Institute sets a new pace in heart research , article
The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, well known for its innovative, world-class brain research, is launching a major new initiative in cardiovascular research.Date: May 20, 2014
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