Haemostasis and Thrombosis

Haemostasis, or blood clotting, is a normal protective mechanism that prevents excessive blood loss upon injury to blood vessels. This process is complex and involves the action of blood cells called platelets that recognise and respond to tissue injury, along with an array of factors present in the blood and released at sites of injury.

Inappropriate activation of platelets, however, triggers the formation of clots within blood vessels (thrombosis). This is the principle cause of angina, heart attacks and stroke, which together cicmr-thrombosis-image1ause high levels of suffering and death. Thrombosis is frequently precipitated by the presence in arteries of atherosclerotic lesions which may rupture causing the release of pro-thrombotic molecules and exposure of the blood vessel wall.

The suppression of platelet function with pharmacological agents is used successfully in many patients to prevent the occurrence of thrombosis. Current drugs, however, are ineffective in many patients and are associated with substantial side effects that include bleeding.

icmr-thrombosis-image2At Reading we are working to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate platelet function in health and disease. This includes identifying the signals present at sites of injury or blood vessel disease that trigger platelet action, the receptor molecules on the platelet surface that recognise these signals and the cell machinery that these control and to assessing the importance of these mechanisms for haemostasis and thrombosis. Together with scientists within the ICMR, we are working to understand how metabolic diseases, genetic variation and nutrition may impact on platelet function and disease development. The aim of our work is to establish better strategies (e.g. drugs, nutrition) for the prevention of thrombosis.

Principal Investigators
Dr Fazil Baksh BakshFazil_small
Dr Simon Clarke ClarkeSimon_small
Dr Mike Fry FryMike_small
Professor Jon Gibbins GibbinsJon_small
Dr Craig Hughes Craig Hughes
Dr Chris Jones JonesChristopher_small
Professor David Leake LeakeDavid_small
Dr Liam McGuffin McGuffinLiam_small
Dr Alice Pollitt Alice Pollitt
Dr Marcus Tindall Marcus Tindall
Dr Kim Watson WatsonKim_small

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