Dr Yi Sun

Dr Yi Sun

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences

Contact details

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

Dr Yi Sun is a British Heart Foundation Research Fellow in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.Yi is also a COMPARE fellow in the Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors (COMPARE) Institute.Yi’s lab is interested in the molecular basis of the cellular recognition process.He has a strong research background in studying transient, low-affinity extracellular receptor-ligand interactions. His current research area is focused on investigating platelet-monocyte interactions using a novel large-scale extracellular protein interaction screening method to identify new cell surface protein interactions that are critical in mediating thromboinflammatory diseases.


  • Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (Pharmacology), University of Cambridge, 2009
  • BSc. Biological Sciences-Biochemistry (Sandwich), University of Leicester, 2005


Yi undertook his undergraduate studies at the University of Leicester obtaining a BSc. in ‘Biological Sciences-Biochemistry’. He spent a full industrial placement year at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Stevenage,
UK where he studied the structural-functional relationship of family B G protein-coupled receptors.

Yi then went on to study a Ph.D. in Pharmacology investigating the activation mechanism of IP3 receptors, under the supervision of Professor Colin Taylor at the University of Cambridge.

For his postdoc, Yi moved on to investigate extracellular protein interactions involved in platelet aggregation process with Dr. Gavin Wright. It is this study that sparked Yi’s interest to develop novel high-throughput technologies to investigate transient, low-affinity extracellular receptor-ligand interactions. After this, Yi went to Genentech, San Francisco, US as a visiting scientist to broaden his expertise in the protein interaction field.

His current position, as a British Heart Foundation (BHF) funded Research Fellow in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, is focused on identifying new cell surface protein interactions in platelet-monocyte interactions and their implications in various thromboinflammatory diseases.

Dr Yi's Social Media -


Supervisor for final year undergraduate laboratory projects


Beyond the classical roles in haemostasis and thrombosis, platelets are important in the initiation and development of various thromboinflammatory diseases. In atherosclerosis and deep vein thrombosis, for example, platelets bridge monocytes with endothelium and form heterotypic aggregates with monocytes in the circulation. This can alter monocyte phenotype by inducing their activation, stimulating adhesion and migration. These interactions involve cell surface receptor-ligand pairs on both cells.

Yi’s main research interest is to study cell surface interactions involved in platelet-monocyte interactions and their implication in various thrombo-inflammatory diseases. He uses a novel high throughput screening method called AVEXIS (for AVidity-based EXtracellular Interaction Screen) and a recombinant mammalian extracellular protein library to identify novel platelet-monocyte interactions.

His goal is to identify ligands for orphan receptors and novel partners of well-known mediators. He believes this novel strategy will identify new avenues for therapeutic intervention in vascular disease.

Research Groups and Centres:

Other activities

Reviewer for Proteome Science


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