Intercellular communication in vascular disease

Dr. Brenda Kwak is interested in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular inflammatory diseases. At present, she is focusing on how blood flow patterns affect intercellular communication between cells within the vascular wall as well as between these cells and diverse types of leukocytes. She aims to understand how such communication processes are implicated in the protective and deleterious inflammatory responses in acute and chronic vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury, and intracranial aneurysms. For this research, her group uses well-defined diet-induced and flow-induced in vivo disease models and sophisticated cell culture tools. In close collaboration with the Neurosurgery division at the Geneva University Hospitals, the group has initiated a biobank of intracranial aneurysm samples (AneuX) to translate key findings to human disease.

Specific expertise

  • Cardiovascular physiology and pathology

  • Pannexins

  • Connexins

Selected publications

Mitochondrial pannexin1 controls cardiac sensitivity to ischaemia/reperfusion injury. Rusiecka OM, Molica F, Nielsen MS, Tollance A, Morel S, Frieden M, Chanson M, Boengler K, Kwak BR. Cardiovasc Res. 2023 Aug 9:cvad120. PMID: 37556386

Primary cilia control endothelial permeability by regulating expression and location of junction proteins. Diagbouga MR, Morel S, Cayron AF, Haemmerli J, Georges M, Hierck BP, Allémann E, Lemeille S, Bijlenga P, Kwak BR. Cardiovasc Res. 2022 May 6;118(6):1583-1596. PMID: 33974072

Selective inhibition of Panx1 channels decreases hemostasis and thrombosis in vivo. F. Molica, M.J. Meens, G. Pelli, A. Hautefort, Y. Emre, B.A. Imhof, P. Fontana, E. Scemes, S. Morel, B.R. KwakThromb Res. 2019; 183: 56-62

Correlating clinical risk factors and histological features in ruptured and unruptured human intracranial aneurysms: The Swiss AneuX study. S. Morel, M.R. Diagbouga, N. Dupuy, E. Sutter, V. Braunersreuther, G. Pelli, M. Corniola, R. Gondar, M. Jägersberg, N. Isidor, K. Schaller, M.L. Bochaton-Piallat, P. Bijlenga, B.R. KwakJ Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2018; 77: 555-566

Pannexin1 links lymphatic function to lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis. F. Molica, M.J. Meens, J. Dubrot, A. Ehrlich, C.L. Roth, S. Morel, G. Pelli, L. Vinet, V. Braunersreuther, O. Ratib, M. Chanson, S. Hugues, E. Scemes, B.R. KwakSci Reports 2017; 7: 13706

1 Apr 2022