Spotlight on Dr Guilherme Costa

Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University of Belfast, UK.

Website

Career background

Dr Guilherme Costa received his PhD in 2011 from the University of Manchester for his studies on the haemogenic endothelium in Dr Valerie’s Kouskoff lab. Deciphering mechanisms that regulate the development of this particular type of endothelial cells prompted his interest in angiogenesis. He then moved on to a postdoctoral position in Dr Shane Herbert’s lab to study molecular and cellular mechanisms of vascular development. While studying aspects of asymmetric endothelial cell division during blood vessel sprouting, he developed a new line of research that investigates the subcellular distribution of mRNAs in endothelial cells. In 2019 he joined Queen’s University of Belfast to establish his lab at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine (WWIEM).

Area of research

Dr Guilherme Costa is interested in RNA localisation during angiogenesis. His lab explores 1) how RNAs are transported within endothelial cells, 2) how the translation of messenger (m)RNAs is regulated in distinct subcellular domains and 3) how these mechanisms regulate blood vessel development and function.

Specialist techniques

In vitro models of angiogenesis,single molecule fluorescent in situ hybridisation (smFISH), live imaging of RNA localisation.

Career highlight

In 2017, Dr Guilherme Costa was awarded the Dean’s Prize: Early Career Researcher Award from the University of Manchester. With this award, he initiated an independent research career focusing on the spatial regulation of gene expression in the context of endothelial biology.

 Future directions

At the WWIEM, Dr Guilherme Costa is expanding his interests in RNA localisation towards the fields of blood vessel maintenance, pathology and potential therapies for vascular disorders.