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Systems level analysis of platelet signalling

   Department of Biomedical Sciences

About the Project

We are interested in how intracellular signal transduction networks bring about complex biological behaviours in cells. We do this by combining computational biology with wet laboratory experimentation. We are currently using human platelets as our model system  as they have been widely studied and characterised and are important in both normal haemostasis and in cardiovascular disease. Data about the signalling pathways is mined from the literature to build draft interaction networks. These are then used to build computational models using a range of tools including MatLab, COPASI and VCell. We then use a range of experimental techniques to capture time- rich data on the evolution of signalling in resting and activated platelets including high-density Western blotting, the use of selective inhibitors, FACS, mass spectrometry, aggregation and secretion assays, and confocal and super resolution microscopy. The outputs from model simulations are compared with the experimental data to determine their match. Failure to fit leads to the generation of new hypotheses, model refinement and further experimentation to try to understand the complex signalling events and how they lead to both normal platelet signalling and how this goes wrong in disease state. 


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 Biomedical 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:

Apply for a PhD in Biological Sciences or Biomedical Sciences at


Further information:



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.


Regulation of Early Steps of GPVI Signal Transduction by Phosphatases: A Systems Biology Approach.; A high-density immunoblotting methodology for quantification of total protein levels and phosphorylation modifications.

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