Dr Alexander Brill

Alexander Brill

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Alex is a Birmingham Fellow in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. Alex 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 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. Alex joined the Birmingham Platelet Group in March 2013.

Alex has published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He was a co-author of a chapter in the "Platelets" textbook. Alex presented results of his research at numerous 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 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 30 peer-reviewed papers and a chapter in the "Platelets" textbook.


  • Deliver a lecture "The role of platelets beyond haemostasis"

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

  • Member of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis


Brill A, Suidan GL and Wagner DD (2013) Hypoxia, such as encountered at high altitude,promotes deep vein thrombosis in mice. JThromb Haemost, in press

Borissoff JI,Joosen IA, Versteylen MO, Brill A, Fuchs TA, Savchenko AS, Gallant M, MartinodK, ten Cate H, Hofstra L, Crijns HJ, Wagner DD and Kietselaer BLJH (2013) ElevatedLevels of Circulating DNA and Chromatin Fragments Are Independently Associatedwith Severe Coronary Atherosclerosis and a Prothrombotic State.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 33(8):2032-2040


Martinod K,Demers M, Fuchs TA, Wong SL, Brill A, Gallant M, Hu J, Wang Y and Wagner DD (2013) Neutrophil histone modification by peptidylarginine deiminase 4 iscritical for deep vein thrombosis in mice. ProcNatl Acad Sci USA 110(21):8674-9


Korin N,Kanapathipillai M, Matthews BD, Crescente M, Brill A, Mammoto T, Ghosh K, JurekS, Bencherif SA, Bhatta D, Coskun AU, Feldman CL, Wagner DD and Ingber DE (2012) Shear-ActivatedNanotherapeutics for Drug Targeting to Obstructed Blood Vessels. Science337(6095):738-42

Brill A,Yesilaltay A, De Meyer SF, Kisucka J, Fuchs TA, Kocher O, Krieger M and Wagner DD (2012) Extrahepatic HDL Receptor SR-BI and apoA-I Protect against Deep VeinThrombosis in Mice. Arterioscler ThrombVasc Biol32(8):1841-7

Brill A,Fuchs TA, Savchenko A, Thomas GM, Martinod K, De Meyer SF, Bhandari A and WagnerDD (2012) Neutrophil extracellular traps promote deep vein thrombosis in mice.J Thromb Haemost 10(1):136-44 

Brill A,Fuchs TA, Chauhan AK, Yang JJ, De Meyer SF, Köllnberger M, Wakefield TW, LämmleB, Massberg S and Wagner DD (2011) von Willebrand factor-mediated plateletadhesion is critical for deep vein thrombosis in mouse models. Blood117(4):1400-7

Fuchs TA, BrillA, Duerschmied D, Schatzberg D, Monestier M, Myers DD Jr, Wrobleski SK,Wakefield TW, Hartwig JH and Wagner DD (2010) Extracellular DNA traps promotethrombosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA107(36):15880-5

View all publications in research portal