Birmingham Platelet Group

It is a platelet spread on fibrinogen labelled for actin (left) and phosphorylated tyrosine (middle) and imaged by Structured Illumination Microscopy (right).


The Birmingham Platelet Group adopts a multidisciplinary approach in the investigation of platelet and megakaryocyte biology, which ranges from cell biology, signal transduction and functional studies through to the use of mouse models and studies on patients.

Left, DIC Image of megakaryocyte undergoing platelet formation. Right, Fluorescence imaging of podosome in a megakaryocyte

Current Projects

  • Cell surface receptors and their signalling pathways, focusing on stimulatory and inhibitory tyrosine kinase-linked receptors e.g. GPVI and CLEC-2
  • Structural studies on ligand binding
  • The genetics of platelet bleeding disorders
  • Megakaryocytopoiesis and platelet formation
  • Models of venous and arterial thrombosis
  • Animal models of cardiovascular diseases
  • Actin polymerisation
  • Super-resolution microscopy
  • Platelet function testing
  • Granule biogenesis and secretion
  • Role of platelets in inflammation and infection
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Platelet procoagulant activity

Selected Publications

Paul Harrison

  1. Montague SJ, Delierneux C, Lecut C, Layios N, Dinsdale RJ, Lee CS, Poulter NS, Andrews RK, Hampson P, Wearn CM, Maes N, Bishop J, Bamford A, Gardiner C, Lee WM, Iqbal T, Moiemen N, Watson SP, Oury C, Harrison P and Gardiner EE. Soluble GPVI is elevated in injured patients: shedding is mediated by fibrin activation of GPVI. Blood Adv. 2018 Feb 13;2(3):240-251. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2017011171
  2. Al Ghaithi R, Drake S, Watson SP, Morgan NV and Harrison P. Comparison of multiple electrode aggregometry with lumi-aggregometry for the diagnosis of patients with mild bleeding disorders. J Thromb Haemost. 2017 Oct;15(10):2045-2052. doi: 10.1111/jth.13784. Epub 2017 Sep 13

Neil Morgan

  1. Fletcher SJ, Johnson B, Lowe GC, Bem D, Drake S, Lordkipanidzé M, Sánchez Guiú I,Dawood B, Rivera J, Simpson MA, Daly ME, Motwani J, Collins PW, Watson SP and Morgan NV  SLFN14 mutations underlie thrombocytopenia with excessive bleeding and platelet secretion defects. J Clin Invest (2015), 125 (9), 3600-05.
  2. Damgaard RB, Walker JA, Marco-Casanova P, Morgan NV, Titheradge HL, Elliott PR, McHale D, Maher ER, McKenzie ANJ and Komander D. The deubiquitinase OTULIN is an essential negative regulator of inflammation and autoimmunity. Cell (2016) 166, 1215-30.

Natalie Poulter

  1. Montague SJ Delierneux C, Lecut C, Layios N, Dinsdale RJ, Lee CS, Poulter NS, Andrews RK, Hampson P, Wearn CM, Maes N, Bishop J, Bamford A, Gardiner C, Lee WM, Iqbal T, Moiemen N, Watson SP, Oury C, Harrison P and Gardiner EE. Soluble GPVI is elevated in injured patients: shedding is mediated by fibrin activation of GPVI. Blood Adv. 2018 Feb 13;2(3):240-251.
  2. Poulter N.S, Pollitt A.Y, Owen D.M, Gardiner E.E, Andrews R.K, Shimizu H, Ishikawa D, Bihan D, Farndale R.W, Moroi M, Watson S.P and Jung S.M. Clustering of glycoprotein VI (GPVI) dimers upon adhesion to collagen as a mechanism to regulate GPVI signaling in platelets (2017). Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 15(3):549-564. 

Steve Watson

  1. Rayes J, Lax S, Wichaiyo S, Watson S, Di Y, Lombard S, Grygielska B, Smith S, Skordilis K and Watson SP. The podoplanin-CLEC-2 axis inhibits inflammation in sepsis.  (2017) Nature Commun. 8: 2239
  2. Mangin PH, Onselaer MB, Receveur N, Le Lay N, Hardy AT, Wilson C, Sanchez X, Loyau S, Depuis A, Babar AK, Miller JLC,  Philippou H, Hughes CE, Herr AB, Ariëns RAS, Mezzano D, Jandrot-Perrus M, Gachet C and Watson SP. Immobilized fibrinogen activates human platelets through GPVI. (2018) Haematologica in press

For full publications lists see:


Birmingham Platelet Group in April 2019

Principal Investigators

Postdoctoral Researchers

  • Joana Campos
  • Noni Beristain-Covarrubias
  • Amanda Dalby
  • Eleyna Martin
  • Alexandre Slater
  • Chris Smith

PhD/MD Students

  • Ibrahim Almazni
  • Fawaz Alenazy
  • Hosam Baksamawi
  • Joshua Bourne
  • Helena Brown
  • Hilaire Cheung
  • Joanne Clark
  • Martina Colicchia
  • Foteini-Nafsika Damaskinaki
  • Emma Faulkner
  • Evie Garlick
  • Maan Harbi
  • Natalie Jooss
  • Sam Kemble
  • Luis Moran
  • Raluca Neagoe
  • Tom O'Sullivan
  • Gina Perrella
  • Joshua Price
  • Rachel Stapley
  • Xueqing Wang
  • Jack Yule
  • Zhaogong Zhi

Research Technicians

  • Mrs Ying Di
  • Mrs Lourdes Garcia-Quintanilla
  • Dr Beata Grygielska
  • Ms Katharine Whitworth 

Research Co-Ordinator

  •  Mrs Gayle Halford

Project and Grant Writing Officer

  • Mrs Caroline McKay

Close ties with other Principal Investigators on platelet related projects



Birmingham Platelet Group - Alexandre Slater

Interview with Alex Slater

My name is Alex Slater and I am a post doctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham. My background consists of studying protein to protein interactions and protein structure. I am currently working on platelet receptor glycoprotein VI, a receptor which is involved in thrombosis. I am researching how the structure of this receptor and its interactions with other proteins is linked with its function, and how we can develop drugs to target this receptor. 

For further information on Alex's research please contact Alex or Alex's supervisor Professor Steve Watson (

Birmingham Platelet Group - Evelyn Garlick

Interview with Evelyn Garlick

I am a PhD student, jointly supervised by Dr. Steven Thomas (UoB) and Dr. Stephen Briddon (UoN). My PhD studies focus on using advanced and super resolution microscopy techniques to investigate the role of actin dynamics on adenosine receptor organisation. 

For further information on Evie’s research, please contact Evie’s supervisor Dr Steven Thomas (

Birmingham Platelet Group - Foteini Nafsika Damaskinaki

Interview with Foteini Nafsika Damaskinaki

My name is Fay and I am a PhD student. I am a chemist with a background in organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry of compounds with diagnostic and therapeutic use. My project is aimed at the development of novel fluorescent tools, and the methodology to study a new biological target in platelets for safer antithrombotic drugs.

For further information on Fay's research, please contact Fay’s supervisors Professor Steve Watson, ( or Professor Barrie Kellam, (


Birmingham Platelet Group - Joshua Bourne

Interview with Joshua Bourne

I am a 2nd year PhD scientist investigating how platelets interact with white blood cells during infections. Alongside science, I am a keen rugby player and guitarist – but I escape to the beach whenever possible to surf. 

For further information on Josh’s research, please contact Josh’s supervisor Dr Julie Rayes (


Birmingham Platelet Group - Luis Moran

Interview with Luis Moran

My name is Luis Moran and I was born in Venezuela. As a pharmacist, I am excited about pharmacology and biochemical research. I was inspired to pursue a scientific career, so I decided to obtain a master’s degree in Biochemistry. Currently, I am a member of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. My Joint European Doctorate focuses on the development of potent and specific inhibitors against CLEC-2, a platelet receptor involved in the development of thrombosis on the venous system. This project is funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 research innovation programme.

For further information on Luis’s research, please contact Luis or, or his supervisor Professor Steve Watson (


Birmingham Platelet Group - Martina Colicchia

Interview with Martina Colicchia

Wellcome LogoMy name is Martina and I am a student funded by the Wellcome Trust. In my PhD, I am studying platelet-immune cell interaction during sepsis in the context of cardiovascular diseases and ageing. 

For further information on Martina’s research, please contact Martina’s supervisor Dr Julie Rayes (


Birmingham Platelet Group - Rachel Stapley

Interview with Rachel Stapley

British Heart Foundation logoI’m Rachel and I’m a final year PhD student funded by the BHF. I have a background in human genetics, having worked in both clinical diagnostics and research settings. I am studying how genes can influence health and disease with a particular interest in cardiovascular and circulatory disorders. 

For further information on Rachel’s research, please contact Rachel or supervisor Dr Neil Morgan (


Birmingham Platelet Group - Jack Yule


Interview with Jack Yule

I am a 2nd year PhD Student within the institute, investigating novel gene variants in the platelet surface receptor GPIb-IX-V. 

For further information on Jack’s research please contact Jack, or his joint supervisors Dr Natalie Poulter and Dr Neil Morgan


Understanding the Role of Platelets in Sepsis

New Anti Platelet Drugs for Cardiovascular Disease and Thrombosis

A Collaborative Approach to Platelet Research


A Collaborative Approach to Platelet Research

Platelets in thrombosis and bleeding

Platelets in thrombosis and bleeding

Platelets in Inflammatory Disease

Platelets in Inflammatory Disease

New Anti Platelet Drugs for Cardiovascular Disease and Thrombosis

New Anti Platelet Drugs for Cardiovascular Disease and Thrombosis