Dr Alexander Brill PhD

Dr Alexander Brill

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Associate Professor in Thrombosis and Haemostasis

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Alex is Associate Professor in Thrombosis and Haemostasis in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. He has a strong background in different models of thrombosis, inflammation and microscopy. His main research interests are mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases, such as deep vein thrombosis and stroke, and identifying new targets to prevent and treat these disorders. Alex also develops novel in vitro systems to model thrombosis aiming to ultimately replace animal use with human cell-based platforms.

Alex received his undergraduate and graduate degrees (MD and PhD) from Saratov State University, Russia. He did his first postdoctoral training with Professor Ofer Lider at the Weizmann Institute of Science, (Israel) studying mechanisms of T cell adhesion and migration. In 2007, he moved to Boston (USA) and did another postdoc at Harvard University in the group of Professor Denisa Wagner. In 2011, Alex was promoted to Instructorship at Harvard. Alex joined the Birmingham Platelet Group in March 2013.

Alex has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, his ORCID ID is 0000-0002-4558-0390. He was a co-author of a chapter in the "Platelets" textbook. Alex presented results of his research at numerous  national and international conferences.


  • MD
  • PhD in human physiology
  • Member of International Society on Thrombosis & Haemostasis


Alexander Brill has more than 18 years of research experience in the cardiovascular and platelet field. He received his MD degree from the Saratov State University (Russia) in 1995 and started his PhD research. He specialized in platelet physiology and effects of laser irradiation on platelet properties.

In 1998, Alexander received his PhD degree and joined the team of Professor Ofer Lider at the Department of Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) as a postdoc. His research at the Weizmann Institute was focused on the physiology of adaptive immune system, predominantly T lymphocytes. During two years at the Weizmann Institute, Alexander was studying interactions of T lymphocytes with their microenvironment, extracellular matrix proteins and other cells.

In 2001, he became a head of the research branch at Coagulation Unit, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. His research interests during his work at Hadassah included platelet non-haemostatic activities and their role in angiogenesis and inflammation.

In 2007, Alexander Brill joined the lab of Professor Denisa Wagner at Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA. At Harvard, he was dealing with various models of cardiovascular diseases and developed a new model of deep vein thrombosis. In March 2013, Alexander Brill was appointed as a Birmingham Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Alexander has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and a chapter in the "Platelets" textbook.


  • Vascular Biology and Pathology 3rd year BMedSci Module
  • Cell communication in disease
  • MBChB Year 2 Cardiovascular
  • BSc 1st year Cardiorespiratory Science: Fundamental Principles
  • BDS Cardiovascular & Respiratory Systems

Postgraduate supervision

  • PhD Student


Alex's primary research interests focus on mechanisms of thrombosis- and/or ischemia-reperfusion-related cardiovascular diseases, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), stroke and abdominal aortic aneurism. Recently, he demonstrated the pivotal role of von Willebrand factor (VWF), a major adhesive protein in the vessel wall, in initiation of DVT. This study identified interaction of VWF with platelet receptor GPIb a as a potential promising target to prevent DVT.

In another study, Alex uncovered a novel unexpected role in DVT of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs), a recently discovered biological entity consisting of DNA, histones and some other neutrophil proteins. These findings represent a new model of thrombosis, involving NETs as a thrombus-supporting network additional to the classic meshwork of fibrin. Alex has also demonstrated a protective function of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL, "good cholesterol") against DVT and a possibility to use the protein component of HDL as a pharmacological approach for DVT prophylaxis.

At present, Alex explores the impact of innate immune system in DVT and stroke.

Other activities


Recent publications


Rayes, J & Brill, A 2024, 'Hot under the clot: venous thrombogenesis is an inflammatory process', Blood. https://doi.org/10.1182/blood.2023022522

Bourne, JH, Perrella, G, El-Awaisi, J, Terry, LV, Tinkova, V, Hogg, RL, Gant, P, Grygielska, B, Kalia, N, Kavanagh, D, Brill, A, Dimitrov, JD, Watson, SP & Rayes, J 2024, 'Hydroxychloroquine inhibits hemolysis-induced arterial thrombosis ex vivo and improves lung perfusion in hemin-treated mice', Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtha.2024.04.008

Kardeby, C, Evans, A, Campos, J, Al-Wahaibi, AM, Smith, C, Slater, A, Martin, E, Severin, S, Brill, A, Pejler, G, Sun, Y & Watson, S 2023, 'Heparin and heparin proteoglycan-mimetics activate platelets via PEAR1 and PI3Kβ', Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 101-116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtha.2022.10.008

Bourne, JH, Campos, J, Hopkin, SJ, Whitworth, K, Palis, J, Senis, YA, Rayes, J, Iqbal, AJ & Brill, A 2023, 'Megakaryocyte NLRP3 hyperactivation induces mild anemia and potentiates inflammatory response in mice', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1226196. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1226196

Baksamawi, HA, Alexiadis, A, Vigolo, D & Brill, A 2023, 'Platelet accumulation in an endothelium-coated elastic vein valve model of deep vein thrombosis is mediated by GPIbα—VWF interaction', Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, vol. 10, 1167884. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2023.1167884

Porembskaya, O, Zinserling, V, Tomson, V, Toropova, Y, Starikova, E, Maslei, V, Bulavinova, N, Kirik, O, Syrtsova, M, Laberko, L, Galchenko, M, Kravchuk, V, Saiganov, S & Brill, A 2022, 'Neutrophils mediate pulmonary artery thrombosis in situ', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 23, no. 10, 5829. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105829

Krysko, O, Bourne, J, Kondakova, E, Galova, E, Whitworth, K, Newby, ML, Bachert, C, Hill, H, Crispin, M, Stamataki, Z, Cunningham, A, Pugh, M, Khan, A, Rayes, J, Vedunova, M, Krysko, D & Brill, A 2022, 'Severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with high numbers of alveolar mast cells and their degranulation', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 13, 968981. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2022.968981

Bourne, J, Beristain Covarrubias, N, Zuidscherwoude, M, Campos, J, Di, Y, Garlick, E, Colicchia, M, Terry, L, Thomas, S, Brill, A, Bayry, J, Watson, S & Rayes, J 2021, 'CLEC-2 Prevents Accumulation and Retention of Inflammatory Macrophages During Murine Peritonitis', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 12, 693974. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.693974

Nicolson, P, Nock, SH, Hinds, J, Garcia Quintanilla, L, Smith, C, Campos, J, Brill, A, Pike, J, Khan, A, Poulter, N, Kavanagh, D, Watson, S, Watson, CN, Clifford, H, Huissoon, A, Pollitt, A, Eble, JA, Pratt, D, Watson, S & Hughes, C 2021, 'Low-dose Btk inhibitors selectively block platelet activation by CLEC-2', Haematologica, vol. 106, no. 1, pp. 208-219. https://doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.218545

Campos, J, Ponomaryov, T, De Prendergast, A, Whitworth, K, Smith, C, Khan, A, Kavanagh, D & Brill, A 2021, 'Neutrophil extracellular traps and inflammasomes cooperatively promote venous thrombosis in mice', Blood Advances, vol. 5, no. 9, pp. 2319–2324. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003377

Chimen, M, Evryviadou, A, Box, CL, Harrison, MJ, Hazeldine, J, Dib, LH, Kuravi, SJ, Payne, H, Price, JMJ, Kavanagh, D, Iqbal, AJ, Lax, S, Kalia, N, Brill, A, Thomas, SG, Belli, A, Crombie, N, Adams, RA, Evans, S-A, Deckmyn, H, Lord, JM, Harrison, P, Watson, SP, Nash, GB & Rainger, GE 2020, 'Appropriation of GPIbα from platelet-derived extracellular vesicles supports monocyte recruitment in systemic inflammation', Haematologica, vol. 105, no. 5, pp. 1248-1261. https://doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2018.215145

Porembskaya, O, Toropova, Y, Tomson, V, Lobastov, K, Laberko, L, Kravchuck, V, Saiganov, S & Brill, A 2020, 'Pulmonary Artery Thrombosis: A Diagnosis That Strives for Its Independence', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 21, no. 14, 5086, pp. 1-18.

Campos, J & Brill, A 2020, 'The role of bone marrow-derived cells in venous thromboembolism', The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, vol. 128, 105850. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2020.105850


Brill, A, Bourne, J, Campos, J, Hopkin, S, Whitworth, K, Palis, J, Senis, Y, Rayes, J & Iqbal, A 2023 'Megakaryocyte NLRP3 hyperactivation induces anemia and potentiates inflammatory response in mice' Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-2616664/v1

Review article

Rayes, J, Bourne, J, Brill, A & Watson, S 2020, 'The dual role of platelet-innate immune cell interactions in thrombo-inflammation', Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 23-35. https://doi.org/10.1002/rth2.12266

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