<b>Dr Ben Hogan</b><br>
Co-Division Head, Genomics of Development and Disease Division<br>
Investigator, Centre for Rare Diseases Research<p>
P: +61 7 3346 2105<br>
E: b.hogan@imb.uq.edu.au<p>
- vascular development<br>
- disease models<br>
- lymphoedema<br>
- cancer metastasis
Dr Ben Hogan
Co-Division Head, Genomics of Development and Disease Division
Investigator, Centre for Rare Diseases Research

P: +61 7 3346 2105
E: b.hogan@imb.uq.edu.au

- vascular development
- disease models
- lymphoedema
- cancer metastasis

Vascular biology and development

Our vascular system is comprised of two vital and interconnected networks: a network of blood vessels responsible for distributing blood cells, oxygen, hormones and essentials nutrients around our bodies; and a network of lymphatic vessels responsible for carrying lymphatic fluid around the body and draining lymph waste and excess fluid. However, when the function and development of either of these two networks is affected, so too is our health, with abnormal vascular performance associated with a range of cardiovascular diseases, including vascular malformations, stroke, macular degeneration, lymphoedema, inflammation, and cancer metastasis.

Our research investigates how blood and lymphatic vessels form from pre-existing vessels. We aim to discover new genes and molecular pathways that regulate vascular growth during the development of the embryo and in disease. To do this, we use the zebrafish embryo as a model biological system as it is similar to mammalian models and humans, and offers a unique combination of direct imaging techniques, embryological tools and genetic tools for the study of developmental processes.

In 2013, we discovered new molecular mechanisms that regulate the formation of lymphatic vessels, identifying a link between the genes CCBE1, VEGFC and VEGFR3, all of which are mutated in inherited lymphoedema syndromes. We also identified several new genes controlling lymphatic vessel growth in the embryo. This work has implications for how we view pathological processes in disease, including inherited disorders and metastasis.

In our current work, we have completed a large, integrated, next-generation sequencing based forward genetic screen to identify unique zebrafish mutants that fail to form lymphatic vessels and veins. We have also developed transgenic tools to visualize individual cellular behaviors during vessel morphogenesis. This will lead to a vastly deeper understanding of the molecules needed for lymphatic development and function in health and disease. 

Zebrafish vasculature

The vasculature of a live developing zebrafish embryo with blood vessels labeled using green fluorescent protein, veins and lymphatic vessels labeled using a red fluorescent protein.

Make a difference to Associate Professor Hogan's research by donating today.

Research in the news

6 Nov 2015: How a common fish could help stop our biggest killer (7News Queensland)

1 Nov 2014: Totally Wild episode - Zebrafish story with Dr Ben Hogan (starts: 18mins 20secs into video)

18 May 2014: Tiny fish helping to battle cancer (7 News Brisbane)

Research training opportunities

Please see IMB's postgraduate website for more information. 

Key publications

View more publications by Associate Professor Hogan via PubMed and via UQ Researchers


Koltowska K, Betterman KL, Harvey NL, Hogan BM. (2013). Getting out and about: the emergence and morphogenesis of the vertebrate lymphatic vasculature.  Development.  May;140(9):1857-70. doi: 10.1242/dev.089565.

Research articles

Coxam B, Sabine A, Bower NI, Smith KA, Pichol-Thievend C, Skoczylas R, Astin JW, Frampton E, Jaquet M, Crosier PS, Parton RG, Harvey NL, Petrova TV, Schulte-Merker S, Francois M, Hogan BM. (2014) Pkd1 Regulates Lymphatic Vascular Morphogenesis during Development. Cell Reports 7: 623-633.

Le Guen L, Karpanen T, Schulte D, Harris N, Koltowska K, Roukens G, Bower NI, Van Impel A, Stacker SA, Achen MG, Schulte-Merker S, Hogan BM. (2014). Ccbe1 regulates Vegfc-mediated induction of Vegfr3 signaling during embryonic lymphangiogenesis. Development 141: 1239-1249.

Duong T, Koltowska K, Pichol-Thievend C, Le Guen L, Fontaine F, Smith KA, Truong V, Skoczylas R, Stacker SA, Achen MG, Koopman P, Hogan BM*, Francois M*.(2013). VEGFD regulates blood vascular development by modulating SOX18 activity. Blood. 2013 Nov 22. 

Kartopawiro J, Bower NI, Karnezis T, Kazenwadel J, Betterman KL, Lesieur E, Koltowska K, Astin J, Crosier P, Vermeren S, Achen MG, Stacker SA, Smith KA, Harvey NL, François M, Hogan BM. (2013). Arap3 is dysregulated in a mouse model of hypotrichosis-lymphedema-telangiectasia and regulates lymphatic vascular development. Human Molecular Genetics. 2013 Nov 11.

Alders, M., Hogan, B.M., Gjini, E., Salehi, F., Al-Gazali, L., Hennekam, E.A., Holmberg, E.E., Mannens, M.M., Mulder, M.F., Offerhaus, G.J., Prescott, T.E., Schroor, E.J., Verheij, J.B., Witte, M., and Zwijnenburg, P.J., Vikkula, M., Schulte-Merker, S., and Hennekam, R.C. (2009). Mutations in CCBE1 cause generalized lymph vessel dysplasia in humans. Nature Genetics 41: 1272-1274.

Hogan, B.M., Bos, F.L., Bussmann, J., Witte, M., Chi, N.C., Duckers, H.J., and Schulte-Merker, S. (2009). Ccbe1 is required for embryonic lymphangiogenesis and venous sprouting. Nature Genetics 41: 396-398.

Hogan, B.M., Herpers, R., Witte, M., Heloterä, H., Alitalo, K., Duckers, H.J., and Schulte-Merker, S. (2009).Vegfc/Flt4 signalling is suppressed by Dll4 in developing zebrafish intersegmental arteriesDevelopment 136: 4001-4009.

Hogan, B.M., Layton, J.E., Pyati, U.J., Nutt, S.L., Hayman, J.W., Varma, S., Heath, J.K., Kimelman, D., and Lieschke, G.J. (2006). Specification of the primitive myeloid precursor pool requires signaling through Alk8 in zebrafish. Current Biology 16: 506-511.

Group contacts

Mr Sungmin Baek
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62341
+61 7 334 62346
Associate Professor Ben Hogan
Group leader
+61 7 334 62105
+61 7 334 62341
Dr Anne Lagendijk
Research staff
+61 7 334 62062
+61 7 334 62341
Dr Neil Bower
Research staff
+61 7 334 62062
+61 7 334 62341
Ms Joelle Kartopawiro
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62270
+61 7 334 62341
+61 7 334 62346
Mr Scott Paterson
Research staff
+61 7 334 62341
+61 7 334 62346
Mr Baptiste Coxam
Research staff
+61 7 334 62341
+61 7 334 62348
Dr Kaska Koltowska
Research staff
+61 7 334 62062
+61 7 334 62341


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