Graeme McLean's research focuses on angiogenesis, the process by which a person's existing blood vessels sprout extensions from themselves to enhance blood flow or nutrient delivery. The process is critical in embryo development, wound healing and inflammation. Defects in angiogenesis can interfere with wound healing and contribute to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Abnormal patterns of angiogenesis also contribute to the growth of cancerous tumours that are capable of co-opting the process to increase their blood supply. In addition, the ability to increase blood flow to the heart is crucial to the survival of heart attack victims. McLean is studying Notch4, a protein in endothelial cells that line the blood vessel wall and participates in the regulation of angiogenesis. Investigating how this protein works will lead to a better understanding of angiogenesis and provide insights into correcting defects in the process.