The VITA researchers seeks to integrate studies of inflammation, thrombus formation and angiogenesis, recognising that all may occur in co-ordinated responses to vascular injury and that they share common activatory pathways. Moreover, linked thrombo-inflammatory responses occur not only in vascular disease but in cardiac conditions such as atrial fibrillation and fibrosis, bringing integration between the VITA and CICS themes.
Birmingham-based researchers have uncovered several novel pathways of regulation of platelet activation including the collagen receptor complex, GPVI-FcR -chain, the Podoplanin receptor CLEC-2 and novel platelet inhibitory protein, G6b-B. They have developed unique in vitro models to study regulation of vascular endothelium, uncovering roles of stromal cells and flow in chronic inflammation and angiogenesis.
Novel lipid mediators controlling neutrophil recruitment have been discovered and studies of reverse neutrophil migration extended to murine models, suggesting that these cells may contribute to lung pathology. Studies on endothelium have also revealed novel genes and pathways regulating angiogenesis. Our research has also played a leading role in clinical trials changing clinical practice in peripheral vascular disease (BASIL trial).