Principal Investigator: Carrie Shawber, PhD

Institution: Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

LF Funding History: 2015 Proof-of-Concept Award

Hypothesis: We hypothesize that dysregulated Notch signaling contributes to the development and progression of lipedema.

Current LF Collaboration: We are currently collaborating with Dr. Karen Herbst, with the goal of characterizing the lymphatic phenotype and expression of Notch signaling components in human lipedema tissues.

Collaborative Opportunities: We are interested in assessing novel imaging modalities or tests that assess functionality of lymphatic murine models of lipedema, as well as in individuals with lipedema.


Project: Understanding Notch Signaling and Lymphatic Dysfunction in Lipedema

The Shawber lab focuses on understanding the role of the lymphatic system in lipedema, using both genetic mouse models and via analysis of human specimens. Dr. Shawber is a pioneer investigator of Notch signaling and its functions in the lymphatic system. She is building on her previous work on the Notch pathway to investigate a potential link between defects in Notch signaling in the lymphatics and lipedema. To do so, her lab is developing novel mouse models to examine if dysregulated Notch signaling contributes to the pathogenesis of lipedema. Dr. Shawber is also leading a pilot study exploring the use of new imaging methods to improve diagnostic tools for lipedema patients.

Dr. Shawber's research draws on the latest advances in mouse models, imaging technology, and genomics to improve the understanding of what causes lipedema and its progression. These studies have the potential to establish new and improved diagnostic methods for lipedema, and could lead to the identification of new "druggable" targets for pharmaceutical development.

Image courtesy of Carrie Shawber, Columbia University Medical Center.


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