Brain Capillary Mechanosensation by Piezo1 Channels in Health and Disease

As blood moves through a narrow brain blood vessel, it imposes mechanical forces on the vessel wall, raising an important question: do capillaries (the very smallest blood vessels) sense the forces associated with flowing blood? This research will examine how blood vessels sense these forces and influence changes in blood flow in the mouse brain using genetically engineered mice and advanced imaging techniques. The ultimate goal of these studies is to provide results that lead to strategies for preventing deficits in brain blood flow in human diseases such as hypertension, which plays a major role in brain aging.

Brain blood vessel


Project Director:

Harraz OF (003)





Osama Harraz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
University of Vermont

The Harraz Lab

Mentor Team:

Senior Mentor
Ardem Patapoutian, Ph.D.

Senior Mentor 
George Wellman, Ph.D.

Peer Mentor
Michael Previs, Ph.D. 

External Mentor
Adam Greenstein, M.D., Ph.D.

External Mentor
Nikolaos Tsoukis, Ph.D.