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  Platelet-cell interactions: Platelets beyond thrombosis and haemostasis

   Department of Biomedical Sciences

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Platelets play a key role in the prevention of bleeding following blood vessel damage. In addition to this important role, platelets also impact the pathophysiology of some major health issues such as inflammation, cancer and infection and play a role in normal physiology such as the development of the lymphatic vasculature. These processes involve the direct communication of platelets with other cells types leading to changes in cell behaviour. 

In this project you will study how platelets communicate with other cell types, how the communication signals are formed and regulated and how this message tells the cells what to do. The identification of new mechanisms that guide cell behaviour following contact with platelets will help us to develop new ways to treat vascular conditions such as atherosclerosis and pathologies such as cancer and reduced wound healing.  

Based in the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, which provides a multidisciplinary interactive research environment for over 30 research groups, this project will provide an excellent opportunity for training in a wide range of basic molecular and cell biology methods including, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, flow cytometry, immunoprecipitation, functional assays such as migration as well as specialist training in conventional and super-resolution microscopy techniques such as confocal and dSTORM.   

The Pollitt lab is part of the wider Reading Platelet Group, a consortium of multiple research groups who together provide an interactive environment in which cooperation and the open exchange of scientific ideas and discussion is actively promoted. Using innovative approaches and models, the overarching aim of the Pollitt group is to understand cell-cell communication between platelets and other cell types, and how platelets can influence the behaviour of those cells. 

School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading: 

The University of Reading, located west of London, England, provides world-class research education programs. The University’s main Whiteknights Campus is set in 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, a 30-minute train ride to central London and 40 minutes from London Heathrow airport.   

Our School of Biological Sciences conducts high-impact research, tackling current global challenges faced by society and the planet. Our research ranges from understanding and improving human health and combating disease, through to understanding evolutionary processes and uncovering new ways to protect the natural world. In 2020, we moved into a stunning new ~£60 million Health & Life Sciences building. This state-of-the-art facility is purpose-built for science research and teaching. It houses the Cole Museum of Zoology, a café and social spaces. 

In the School of Biological Sciences, you will be joining a vibrant community of ~180 PhD students representing ~40 nationalities. Our students publish in high-impact journals, present at international conferences, and organise a range of exciting outreach and public engagement activities.  

During your PhD at the University of Reading, you will expand your research knowledge and skills, receiving supervision in one-to-one and small group sessions. You will have access to cutting-edge technology and learn the latest research techniques. We also provide dedicated training in important transferable skills that will support your career aspirations. If English is not your first language, the University's excellent International Study and Language Institute will help you develop your academic English skills. 

The University of Reading is a welcoming community for people of all faiths and cultures. We are committed to a healthy work-life balance and will work to ensure that you are supported personally and academically. 


Applicants should have a good degree (minimum of a UK Upper Second (2:1) undergraduate degree or equivalent) in biological sciences or a strongly-related discipline. Applicants will also need to meet the University’s English Language requirements. We offer pre-sessional courses that can help with meeting these requirements. 

How to apply: 

Submit an application for a PhD in Biomedical Sciences at  

Further information: 



Dr. Alice Pollitt, email:  


Biological Sciences (4)

Funding Notes

We welcome applications from self-funded students worldwide for this project. If you are applying to an international funding scheme, we encourage you to get in contact as we may be able to support you in your application.


Please view Dr Alice Pollitt's academic profile:

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