Anomalies in the formation of blood and lymphatic vessels are, thankfully, rare. Those who do have them face a lifetime of complications that can range from the mild to the life-threatening. To date, little is known about the causes, which means the diagnostic and treatment options are very limited. René Hägerling of the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) has made it his mission to remedy this. His good ideas have won the regard of the European Research Council (ERC), which has awarded Hägerling, who leads a junior research group, an ERC Starting Grant of €1.5 million over five years.