Our established multi-disciplinary scientific excellence in Vascular Biology, Inflammation and Angiogenesis

Developing vessels and macrophages in green supporting vessel developmentOur established multi-disciplinary research theme is focused on the multifaceted biology of endothelial cells. This includes their roles in inflammation and the formation of new vessels, both of which play critical roles in the pathogenesis of a range of diseases as diverse as atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.

Dr Asif IqbalTheme Lead

Dr Asif Iqbal

Senior Lecturer in Inflammation Biology
Birmingham Fellow

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Dr Ingrid DumitriuTheme Lead

Dr Ingrid Dumitriu

Reader in Cardiovascular Immunology

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About the research

Our world leading research into acute physiological inflammation and chronic inflammatory diseases has changed the way we understand the inflammatory process. It has also led to the discovery of novel tumour endothelial targets and the development of novel anti-cancer agents.

A core theme of our research determines how circulating white blood cells are recruited to inflamed tissues. We continue to identify new paradigms of leukocyte trafficking, having recently established new anti-inflammatory roles for dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) which control the migration of neutrophils and T-cells. The role of tissue cells in regulating inflammation is also an extremely active area of research where our science is greatly aided by a new state of the art facility for imaging leukocyte trafficking into live tissues. 

Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels is a key component of many pathologies including cancer, atherosclerosis and arthritis. We have for many years studied differential gene expression in vessels of pathologic tissue such as tumour vessels compared to those in healthy tissue.

A corner stone of our scientific effort is the translation of our innovative science into the clinic for the benefit of patients. The localisation of stem cells and their therapeutic affects in cardiovascular inflammation is being investigated in a new model of the beating heart. 

The Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences is also the academic base for two University Spinout Companies. Chimeric Therapeutics Ltd, which is developing new therapies employing T cells against CLEC14A on the vessels in solid tumors, and Viatem Ltd, which is undertaking an R&D programme to develop new anti-inflammatory drugs from the PEPITEM peptide. 

Our Principal Investigators and Research Groups

Principal Investigators
Principal InvestigatorResearch Interest
Professor Roy Bicknell Angiogenesis and tumour vascular targeted immunotherapy
Professor Dirk-Peter Herten Molecular level signalling of inflammation and thrombo-inflammation
Professor Ed Rainger Resolution of inflammation and thrombo-inflammation
Dr Alexander Brill Mechanisms of venous thrombosis and interplay between thrombosis and inflammation
Dr Ingrid Dumitriu Targeting inflammation in cardiovascular disease - focus on atherosclerosis and atrial fibrillation
Dr James Guggenheim Imaging the vasculature using photoacoustic and coherent optics techniques
Dr Victoria Heath Molecular regulation of blood vessel formation’
Dr Peter Hewett Regulation of endothelial genes (e.g. VEGF/VEGFRs) which play fundamental role in vascular homeostasis/remodelling and responses to shear stress.  How these are perturbed in pathologies including diabetes, atherosclerosis and preeclampsia
Dr Asif Iqbal Disease mechanisms in acute and chronic inflammation
Dr Neena Kalia Role of the coronary microcirculation in myocardial infarction
Dr Abdullah Khan Developing organoid and organ-on-a-chip technologies to look at the effects of infection and cancer on tissue specific blood vessels and microenvironments
Dr Melanie Madhani Identifying Novel Targets and Interventions for Hypertension; Myocardial Infarction and Heart Failure
Dr Julie Rayes Understanding mechanisms of thromboinflammation in sterile and infectious conditions. In particular, I am interested in danger-associated molecular patterns effect on platelet and how it regulates its interaction with immune and endothelial cells
Honorary Principal Investigators
Honorary Principal InvestigatorResearch Interest
Dr Gillian Lowe Inherited platelet disorders
Associate/Affiliate Principal Investigators
Associate/Affiliate Principal InvestigatorResearch Interest 
Professor Georgios Gkoutos Health Data Science, Bioinformatics, Artificial Intelligence for Health, Multmodal multiomics integrative analytics, Translational comparative phenomics, Precision Medicine
Professor Claudio Mauro Interconnections between metabolic and inflammatory pathways
Dr Keith Brain Autonomic cardiovascular regulation
Dr Paul Harrison Platelets;  Neutrophils; Extracellular Vesicles; Trauma and Burns
Dr Patricia Lalor (Trish) Human liver inflammation and fibrosis; endothelial and platelet biology and impact of these on inflammation
Dr Sam Lucas Regulation of cerebral blood flow; optimising interventions for improved vascular health
Dr Helen McGettrick Endothelial responses and control of immune cell movement across blood vessels
Dr Mike Tomlinson Tetraspanins and associated membrane proteins

Research Groups

Angiogenesis Group 
Cardiovascular Translational Group: Myocardial Infarction and Heart Failure
Leukocyte Trafficking 
Microcirculation Research Group 
Vascular and Reproductive Biology 
Vascular Tetraspanin Group 
BCRG (Birmingham Cardio-Renal Group)