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Graduate student: Genetics and Molecular Biology (2010-2017)

Contact: dchong [at]

Education: Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, BA in biochemistry

Fellowships and Awards: IMSD Fellowship, GMB Training grant, NSF Graduate Student Fellowship, AHA Predoctoral Fellowship, F31 Predoctoral Fellowship

Research: Tortuous vessel formation during wound healing

Angiogenesis, the method by which new blood vessels sprout from pre-existing vessels, is a complex and dynamic process. Angiogenesis is critical during development, and disruptions in angiogenic pathways lead to embryonic lethality. In contrast, vessel quiescence occurs during adulthood and angiogenesis is restricted to regenerative tissues, such as the uterine lining and wound healing tissue. In adults, tumors recruit blood vessels to become metastatic by secreting growth factors that reactivate developmental programs of angiogenesis. Current methods to study angiogenesis in a tumor environment have significantly gained speed in the past decade; however, there are still few technologies which give us the ability to image vessel/tumor interactions in vivo. Using multi-photon microscopy, we have been able to visualize angiogenesis in vivo. We have utilized an ear wounding model and a tumor spheroid model to induce angiogenesis in a stabilized ear vessel plexus. Future experiments are aimed at elucidating the mechanisms that control angiogenesis in the intra-vital wound and tumor models.


Diana C. Chong, Yeon Koo, Ke Xu, Stephen F, Ondine Cleaver. 2011. Stepwise arteriovenous fate acquisition during mammalian vasculogenesis. Dev Dyn. 240(9):2153-65. (highlighted in Dev Dyn. 241(1):vi)

Ke Xu, Anastasia Sacharidou, Stephen Fu, Diana C. Chong, Brian Skaug, Zhijian J. Chen, George E. Davis and Ondine Cleaver. 2011. Blood Vessel Tubulogenesis Requires Rasip1 Regulation of GTPase Signaling. Dev Cell. 20(4):526-39.

Michelina Iacovino, Diana Chong, Istvan Szatmari, Arianna Caprioli, Ondine Cleaver and Michael Kyba. 2011. HoxA3 is an apical regulator of haemogenic endothelium. Nat Cell Biol. 13(1):72-8.

Alethia Villasenor, Diana C. Chong, Mark Henkemeyer, and Ondine Cleaver. 2010 Epithelial dynamics of pancreatic branching morphogenesis. Development 137(24):4295-305.

Shahab M. Danesh, Alethia Villasenor, Diana Chong, Carrie Soukup, Ondine Cleaver.  BMP and BMP receptor expression during murine organogenesis.  Gene Expr Patterns 9(5):255-65.

Ke Xu, Diana C. Chong, Scott A. Rankin, Aaron M. Zorn, Ondine Cleaver. 2009. Rasip1 is required for endothelial cell motility, angiogenesis and vessel formation. Dev Biol. 15;329(2):269-79.

Alethia Villasenor, Diana C. Chong, Ondine Cleaver.2008 Biphasic Ngn3 expression in the developing pancreas. Dev Dyn. 237(11):3270-9.