Professor Robert Ariëns

Professor Robert Ariëns


Robert Ariëns obtained a BSc in Biology from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands in 1990, and did his postgraduate training with Professor Mannucci at the University of Milan, Italy and with Professor Hemker at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD for studies on the tissue factor pathway from the University of Maastricht in 1997. Robert is Professor of Vascular Biology, Wellcome Trust Investigator and Head of the Discovery and Translational Science Department, Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, University of Leeds, UK. He was President of the British Society for Haemostasis and Thrombosis (BSHT, 2016-2018), and President of the International Fibrinogen Research Society (IFRS, 2014-2018). He is a member of the Editorial Board of JTH, and holder of the Hemker Visiting Chair at the University of Maastricht. Ariëns was awarded the Outstanding Investigator Award by the IFRS in 2012 and was Chair of the ISTH Subcommittee on Factor XIII and Fibrinogen in 2002-2006. He has published extensively in the field, with >120 papers in high-impact journals amongst which Blood (23), JTH (20), ATVB (7), Circulation (3), Lancet (4) and a 2018 paper in J Clin Invest. Ariëns is Vice-President of the ISTH 2022 Congress in London. 


  • Head of Discovery and Translational Science Department (LICAMM)
  • Visiting Chair, University of Maastricht (Netherlands)

Research interests

My research is focused on elucidating novel mechanisms involved in haemostasis and thrombosis. Our main objectives are to discover molecular mechanisms that regulate the structure of the blood clot, its mechanical properties and its resistance to fibrinolysis. We study naturally occurring variants of proteins involved in clot formation (fibrinogen), and investigate the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in the formation of the blood clot. Patients with thrombosis have denser clot structure with smaller pores, altered mechanical properties and resistance to fibrinolysis. My aim is to decipher the mechanisms that lead to these alterations. Our studies make use of disciplinary-scanning methods approaches including molecular biology, biochemistry, atomic force microscopy, magnetic tweezers, electron microscopy, medicinal chemistry, protein binding studies amongst others, combined with clinical studies and studies using models of thrombosis or bleeding. I collaborate with colleagues in the USA, Netherlands, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Ultimately my research is aimed at developing novel treatment options for patients with thrombosis and cardiovascular disease.


  • 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>