Blood clotting (thrombosis) is essential to prevent excessive bleeding and guarantee vascular integrity. However, disorders such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer and obesity are characterised by increased risk of pathological thrombosis resulting in heart attacks, strokes and deep vein thrombosis. We are particularly interested in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of thrombotic disease in order to develop novel, effective and safe treatment strategies for these high-risk patients and translating these into clinical practice.
Our thrombosis researchers are an interdisciplinary group dedicated to discovering new pathways and factors that contribute to thrombosis. Our researchers have internationally recognised expertise in the molecular regulation of platelet function, platelet driven thrombosis, coagulation, fibrinolysis and blood clot architecture. Several research programmes are also examining the development of new therapeutic agents to control thrombosis. Our research is underpinned by two Programme Grants from the British Heart Foundation, A Senior Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust, and industry. Our external funding of £18 million has led to multiple high impact publications in the Journal of Thrombosis & Haemostasis, ATVB and Blood.
A team led by Professor Robert Ariens recently discovered an exciting and entirely novel feature of blood clots that prevents cell loss from the wound and the onset of infection. We demonstrated that blood clots produce a thin film made from fibrin that covers the entire wound surface. The fibrin film provides a natural limit to the clot, stops leakage of red blood cells and stops bacteria from entering the organism. This study was published as the cover story in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2018.