Various disease states damage the function of blood vessels, including diabetes, atherosclerosis and bacterial infections. The level of injury is dependent on the physiological insult and vascular bed. Maintenance of an intact endothelium is vital to prevent infiltration of immune cells or fluids. Platelets interact with the endothelium under conditions where the vessel wall is damaged, resulting in adhesion and aggregation of platelets to form a clot and arrest bleeding. The cell signalling mechanisms which regulate endothelial integrity and platelet aggregation are currently studied however the precise molecular mechanisms resulting in breakdown of barrier integrity and subsequent platelet interactions is not wholly understood.
The project will investigate novel mechanisms which regulate the cross-talk between the platelets and endothelium in settings of vascular disease. In particular, the research will focus on systemic factors associated with diet and the microenvironment at sites of vascular injury.
Research methods will include cell culture and platelet aggregation studies, as well as biochemical assays such as Western blotting and PCR analysis.
This project is self-funded. Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website (View Website) as they become available.