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Kirk Taylor

Portrait of Kirk Taylor

Areas of interest

Kirk is interested in all aspects of platelet and megakaryocyte, with particular focus on the role of ion channels in regulating pathological thrombus formation. His PhD studies focussed on the role of platelet Pannexin-1 channels and electrophysiological characterisation of megakaryocyte TMEM16F channels. Kirk has developed assays to evaluate platelet function responses in clinical trials evaluating the pharmacokinetic profiles of HIV therapeutics.


Biochemical (immunohistochemistry, Western blotting), biophysical (whole-cell patch clamp), cell isolation & culture (platelet & primary MK isolation and cell culture), functional (aggregometry, Ca2+ imaging, flow cytometry, ATP release & dye efflux), imaging (confocal and fluorescence microscopy), in vivo (cardiac puncture, vessel cannulation, tissue isolation) and molecular (cloning, PCR) assays.

Research centres and groups

  •  Member of the Platelet Society executive Committee
  • Serves on the editorial board of the journal Platelets as social media and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer.
  • He is also actively engaged in public engagement initiatives, such as Pint of Science and LGBT STEM Day.


Kirk completed his PhD at the University of Leicester under the mentorship of Prof Mahaut-Smith. His studies focussed on the role of ion channels in regulating platelet and megakaryocyte function. He has completed postdoctoral posts at Anglia Ruskin University (Dr Nick Pugh) and Imperial College London (Dr Mike Emerson) studying mechanisms of zinc-induced platelet activation and pharmacological effects of HIV therapies upon platelet function, respectively. Kirk joined the Reading Platelet Lab to investigate the role of platelet and megakaryocyte gap junction proteins in regulating blood clot formation. Kirk has previously secured funding from the Wellcome Trust and National Heart and Lung Institute to evaluate the therapeutic potential of ion channels in platelet-related disorders.

Awards and honours

  • NHLI Pilot Award; Imperial College London, 2020 (PI: £4,615)
  • British Heart Foundation Small Meeting Fund; (Co-applicant: £1,900)
  • Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship; Imperial College London, 2019 (Co-I: £2,768)
  • Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship; Anglia Ruskin University, 2016 (Co-I: £2,768)
  • Best Oral Presentation; UK Platelet Society, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2018 (£100)
  • Travel scholarships (£5,648)

Selected publications

  • Boustani K & Taylor KA (2020). Navigating LGBTQ+ discrimination in academia: where do we go from here? The Biochemist.
  • Taylor KA & Machlus KR (2020). Blood and Bone: The Quarantine Chronicles. Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
  • Taylor KA & Mahaut-Smith MP (2019). Whole cell recordings of megakaryocyte Ca2+ activated currents sensitive to the TMEM16F inhibitor CaCCinh-A01 reveal an interspecies difference in ionic selectivity. Platelets. 22:1-5
  • Taylor KA, Smyth E, Rauzi F, Cerrone M, Khawaja AA, Gazzard B, Nelson M, Boffito M & Emerson M (2019). Pharmacological impact of antiretroviral therapy on platelet function to investigate human immunodeficiency virus-associated cardiovascular risk. Br J Pharmacol. 176(7):879-889.
  • Ahmed NS, Lopes-Pires ME, Taylor KA & Pugh N (2019). Agonist-evoked increases in intra-platelet zinc couple to functional responses. Thromb Haemost. 119(1):128-139.
  • Taylor KA & Emerson, M (2018). Refinement of a mouse cardiovascular model: Development, application and dissemination. F1000res, 7: 593
  • Gillespie S, Holloway PM, Becker F, Rauzi F, Vital SA, Taylor KA, Stokes KY, Emerson M & Gavins FNE (2018). The isothiocyanate sulforaphane modulates platelet function and protects against cerebral thrombotic dysfunction. Br J. Pharm.; 175(16): 3333-3346
  • *Taylor KA, Wilson DGS, Harper MT & Pugh N (2017). Extracellular chloride is required for efficient platelet aggregation. Platelets; 29(1): 79-83
  • Pugh N, Maddox B, Bihan D, Taylor KA, Mahaut-Smith MP & Farndale RW (2017). Discrete platelet collagen receptor engagement differentially influences intracellular calcium signalling, integrin activation and thrombus morphology under flow conditions. Thrombosis and Haemostasis; 117(8): 1588-1600
  • Taylor KA & Pugh N (2016). The contribution of zinc to platelet behaviour during haemostasis and thrombosis. Metallomics; 8(2): 144-155
  • Osman S, Taylor KA, Allcock NA, Rainbow RD & Mahaut-Smith MP (2016). Detachment of surface membrane invagination systems by cationic amphiphillic drugs. Sci Rep; 4(6): 18536
  • Mahaut-Smith MP, Taylor KA & Evans RJ (2016). Calcium signalling through ligand-gated ion channels such as P2X1 receptors in the platelet and other non-excitable cells. Adv Exp Med Biol; DOI: 0.1007/978-3-319-26974-0_13
  • Watson BR, White NA, Taylor KA, Howes JM, Malcor JDM, Bihan D, Sage SO, Farndale RW & Pugh N (2016). Zinc is a transmembrane platelet agonist that induces platelet activation in a tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent manner. Metallomics; 8(1): 91-100
  • *Taylor KA, Wright JR & Mahaut-Smith MP (2015). Regulation of Pannexin-1 activity. Biochem Soc Trans; 43(3): 502-507.
  • Taylor KA, Wright JR, Vial C, Evans RJ & Mahaut-Smith MP (2014). Amplification of human platelet activation by surface Pannexin-1 channels. J Thromb Haemost; 12(6): 987-998


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