Professor Robert Ariëns

Professor Robert Ariëns


I am a Professor of Vascular Biology at the University of Leeds, UK. I obtained a BSc in Biology from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands in 1990, and did my postgraduate training with Professor Mannucci at the University of Milan, Italy and with Professor Hemker at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands. I obtained my PhD for studies on the tissue factor pathway from the University of Maastricht in 1997. I was President of the British Society for Haemostasis and Thrombosis from 2016 to 2018, President of the International Fibrinogen Research Society from 2014 to 2018, and Head of the Discovery and Translational Science Department at the University of Leeds from 2018 to 2021. I was elected to Council Class 2026 of the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), and was Vice-President of the ISTH 2022 London Congress in the ExCel London. Research of the Ariëns laboratory has a strong focus on mechanisms in thrombosis and haemostasis, with a particular interest in clot structure and function. I have published extensively in influential journals including Lancet, PNAS, JCI, Blood, ATVB, Circulation and JTH. I have mentored many early career scientists in the field.

Research interests

A key challenge in haemostasis and thrombosis is to decipher how blood clots are composed of multiple different mechanisms and elements. The Ariëns group studies fibrin clot structure and function as a means to develop a better understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underpin blood clotting and thrombosis (the occurence of unwanted clots in the heart, lungs or brain).  Major discoveries from the Ariëns group that address this challenge include: 1) The development of clot structure/function methods leading to the discovery of clot characteristics that drive thrombosis, 2) Elucidation of fibrin film that protects clots against infection thereby challenging dogma in the field, and 3) Discovery of fibrin crosslinking mechanisms that prevent thromboembolism through the development of new murine models. We thus focus on uncovering new mechanisms of clot structure for exploitation in the fight against thrombosis. In recent developments, we have started targeting regions in the protein fibrinogen that display prothrombotic characteristics. Our studies use state-of-the-art technologies for imaging, and the molecular and biophysical analysis of blood clots. Our work is supported by research grants from British Heart Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the UKRI, among other funders.

Current Group Members:

Robert Ariëns (PI)

Helen McPherson (Postdoctoral researcher)

Julia Sandrin Gauer (Postdoctoral researcher)

Maria Anastasiadi (Postdoctoral researcher)

Ruigang Xu (BBSRC researcher co-investigator)

Yu Shi (Postdoctoral researcher)

Aparna Sinha (Research technician)


  • BSc (Utrecht 1990)
  • PhD (Maastricht 1997)

Professional memberships

  • British Society for Haemostasis and Thrombosis
  • International Fibrinogen Research Society
  • International Society for Fibrinolysis and Proteolysis
  • International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis

Student education

My role in teaching involves lecturing on blood, blood diseases, haemostasis, bleeding and thrombosis in the medical curriculum at Leeds. I lecture on fibrin clot structure to medical students intercalating for a BSc degree. I lecture on biophysical studies and other disciplinary-spanning appraches to candidates of a 4 year PhD programme in cardiovascluar science. I supervise BSc, MSc, MD and PhD research students in haemostasis and thrombosis. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine
  • Discovery and Translational Science
  • British Heart Foundation - Cardiovascular research
  • Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Centre
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//,-fibrin-and-neutrophil-extracellular-traps-(nets)-integrate-in-thrombi-and-blood-cl">Role of Neutrophils in Fibrin Structure and Function: How do Cells, Fibrin and Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) Integrate in Thrombi and Blood Cl</a></li>