Editorial Board

Changwon Park, Ph.D.

Changwon Park, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics
Childrens Heart Research and Outcomes (HeRO) Center Emory University School of Medicine,

Biography :

2015, Emory STEM Research and Career Symposium, Atlanta, GA - Judges Committee 2015, Society for Developmental Biology 74th Annual meeting, Snowbird, UT - Poster Judge 2015, North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO), Vascular Biology, Hyannis, MA - Poster Judge 2016, Emory STEM Research and Career Symposium, Atlanta, GA - Judges Committee 2017, IACUC Committee, Emory University (Alternate since July 2017)

Research Interest :

The establishment of the cardiovascular system including blood, vasculature and the heart is a highly coordinated process and a prerequisite for embryonic development. A failure of proper development in any of these cell lineages leads to fetal death, stillbirth or life-threatening birth defects. Further, the cardiovascular system is an indispensable organ to maintain one’s daily life, and abnormality of it is salient in the pathogenesis of diseases and/or defects such as congenital heart disease and cancer. Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a defect, or abnormality of the heart or blood vessels associated with the heart and is the most common, afflicting one in 100 live births. Not only in adults, another leading life-threatening disease in childhood is cancer; brain and central nervous system tumors, neuroblastoma and Wilms tumor consist of approximately 33% of childhood cancer. Tumor growth and survival are critically dependent upon non-physiological vessel formation. Thus, therapeutic strategies for treating cardiovascular defects and diseases related to dysfunctional vessels should be in the establishment of the functional cardiovascular system that is tightly and delicately coordinated by a series of genetic and epigenetic regulations in developing fetuses. The major effort of the PI’s team is to decipher the underlying mechanisms as to the successful generation of the cardiovascular constituents, namely endothelial, endocardium, cardiomyocytes and hematopoietic cells that share multipotent cardiovascular progenitors, FLK1+ cells. In this regards, we previously reported that ETV2/ER71, a new member of the ETS transcription factor family, is the direct upstream regulator of VEGFR2 (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor 2, also known as FLK1) and that ETV2 is indispensable for cardiovascular system development. Extending from the previous findings, our significant effort is currently given to study molecular mechanisms by which ETV2 regulates cardiovascular system development. In addition, my lab is interested in the generation of functional endothelial cells directly from somatic cells such as skin fibroblasts (direct reprogramming), aiming autologous cell replacement therapy. Outcome from these studies will provide a new and detailed insight into cardiovascular development, which could provide novel opportunities for the development of specific targets for the cardiovascular defects/diseases.