Professor Gerard Nash

Gerard Nash

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Rheology

Contact details

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Gerard Nash originally trained as a physical scientist and has carried out research on the flow properties of the blood and its constituent cells, and the regulation of recruitment of blood cells to the vessel wall in health and disease.

Gerard has published over 200 research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews and book chapters in the fields of blood flow, cell mechanics, and leukocyte adhesion and migration. He has received grants from British Heart Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC and Cancer Research UK.


  • Ph.D. Biophysics, University of London, 1979
  • B.Sc. Physics (1st Class Honours), University of Manchester, 1975


After studying engineering and physics as an undergraduate, I opted to follow a research career in the biophysical sciences. My PhD was in instrumentation for automated cell characterisation but I quickly moved into blood cell mechanics and studies of the cellular physiology of the circulatory system.

My postdoc work at Guy’s and at University of Southern California revolved around analysis of the physical properties of red cells, and later leukocytes, that influence their circulation. On returning to UK and St. George’s Hospital Medical School, I applied these analytical approaches to defining biomechanical abnormalities associated with vascular disease.

On moving to Birmingham in 1989, my interest turned to the cellular adhesive properties of leukocytes and red cells, developing novel flow-based culture and adhesion assays incorporating endothelial cells. We characterised for the first time the dynamic adhesive interactions of flowing malarial parasitised red cells. However, mechanisms by which flowing neutrophils bind to vessel walls came to take precedence, and we were the first to describe the ability of surface-adherent platelets to capture flowing neutrophils.

More recent work has centred on how the local physical and stromal environments modify the responses of endothelial cells and hence recruitment of leukocytes in inflammation.  This has been carried with my long-term collaborators Ed Rainger, Chris Buckley, Helen McGettrick and Steve Watson and has been at the interface between cardiovascular sciences, immunology and bioengineering.


Research Themes

  • Blood rheology and the effects of changes in the mechanical properties of red and white blood cells on the microcirculation
  • Regulation of endothelial responses and of leukocyte recruitment by the local blood flow and surrounding stromal cells
  • Vascular pathology linked to abnormal leukocyte recruitment


Recent Papers:

Sheriff L, Alanazi A, Ward LSC, Ward C, Munir H, Rayes J, Alassiri M, Watson SP, Newsome PN, Rainger GE, Kalia N, Frampton J, McGettrick HM, Nash GB. Origin-specific adhesive interactions of mesenchymal stem cells with platelets influence their behavior after infusion. Stem Cells. 2018 Feb 28. [Epub ahead of print].

Chimen M, Yates CM, McGettrick HM, Ward LS, Harrison MJ, Apta B, Dib LH, Imhof BA, Harrison P, Nash GB, Rainger GE.  Monocyte subsets coregulate inflammatory responses by integrated signaling through TNF and IL-6 at the endothelial cell interface. J Immunol. 2017; 198:2834-2843.

Rogers NJ, Jeffery HC, Claire S, Lewis DJ, Zikeli G, Hodges NJ, Egginton S, Nash GB, Pikramenou Z. Tailoring iridium luminescence and gold nanoparticle size for imaging of microvascular blood flow. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2017; 12):2725-2740.

Filer A, Ward LSC, Kemble S, Davies CS, Munir H, Rogers R, Raza K, Buckley CD, Nash GB, McGettrick HM. Identification of a transitional fibroblast function in very early rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017; 76:2105-2112.

Munir H, Ward LSC, Sheriff L, Kemble S, Barone F, Nash GB, McGettrick HM. Adipogenic differentiation of MSC alters their immunomodulatory properties in a tissue-specific manner. Stem Cells 2017; 35:1636-1646

Appleby SL, Mitrofan CG, Crosby A, Hoenderdos K, Lodge K, Upton PD, Yates CM,  Nash GB, Chilvers ER, Morrell NW. Bone Morphogenetic Protein 9 Enhances Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Leukocyte Recruitment to the Vascular Endothelium. J Immunol. 2016; 197:3302-3314

Chimen M, McGettrick HM, Apta B, Kuravi SJ, Yates CM, Kennedy A, Odedra A, Alassiri M, Harrison M, Martin A, Barone F, Nayar S, Hitchcock JR, Cunningham AF, Raza K, Filer A, Copland DA, Dick AD, Robinson J, Kalia N, Walker LS, Buckley CD, Nash GB, Narendran P, Rainger GE. Homeostatic regulation of T cell trafficking by a B cell-derived peptide is impaired in autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disease. Nat Med. 2015;21:467-75.

Luo D, McGettrick HM, Stone PC, Rainger GE, Nash GB. The roles of integrins in function of human neutrophils after their migration through endothelium into interstitial matrix. PLoS One. 2015; 10:e0118593.

Watts T, Barigou M, Nash GB. Comparative rheology of the adhesion of platelets and leukocytes from flowing blood: why are platelets so small? Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2013;304:H1483-94. 

Full list of Professor Nash' publications.

View all publications in research portal


Cardiovascular Rheology