Anne Eichmann named the Ensign Professor

Anne Eichmann, newly designated as the Ensign Professor of Cardiology, is noted for her research exploring the factors that determine where the cells in blood vessels and lymphatic vessels grow, as well as understanding how the vascular and nervous systems influence each other’s growth and function.

She is particularly interested in the mechanisms that direct vascular patterning and guidance and with understanding the function of specialized endothelial cells called tip cells, with the goal of manipulating guided vascular patterning.

She has discovered that common molecular cues direct growth of blood vessels and nerves, opening new possibilities for directing blood vessel growth towards an infarcted tissue area or away from growing tumors. Understanding the relationship between the nervous system and the vascular system may be key to significant advances in biomedical research, and Professor Eichmann is currently studying the effect of that link in diseases affecting both systems, notably diabetes.

Eichmann came to Yale in 2010 as a professor in the Yale Cardiovascular Research Center at the School of Medicine. Since 2001, she worked at the Collège de France, where she was the Inserm Avenir Young Investigator 2001 to 2006 and a research director for Inserm since 2002. She has been director of the Federative Research Institute there between 2009 and 2011. She obtained her M.Sc. at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, and a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the Université Paris XIII. During postdoctoral work with Nicole le Douarin in Paris, Eichmann cloned receptors for vascular endothelial growth factor, and used them to isolate the hemangioblast, a common precursor for endothelial and hematopoietic stem cells. Her subsequent independent research has focused on anatomical and functional similarities between vessel growth and axon growth and guidance processes.  

Her scientific work has won her numerous honors, including a Lillian Bettencourt Prize for Life Sciences, the Chevalier de L’ordre National du Mérite, an Inserm Research Award, and the Jean Bernard Award from the Medical Research Foundation, among others.

Eichmann has served on the Inserm Scientific Research Council, the European Research Council, and the Fondation Lefoulon Delalande fellowship board, and the editorial boards of Physiology Reviews and Endothelium. She has been elected council member of the North American Vascular Biology Organization.