Dr Steve Thomas PhD

Steve Thomas

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Science

Contact details

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

Steve Thomas is a HEFCE Lecturer working in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.

His main research interests centre around the actin cytoskeleton in platelets and megakaryocytes and fluorescence microscopy imaging.


  • PhD Biology 2001
  • BSc (Hons) Cell and Molecular biology 1997


Career History

  • 2013 Lecturer in Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Birmingham
  • 2008 BHF Research Fellow, University of Birmingham
  • 2006 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Professors Machesky and Watson, University of Birmingham
  • 2002 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Professor Noni Franklin-Tong, University of Birmingham
  • 2000 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Professor Jim Callow, University of Birmingham
  • 2000 PhD, School of Applied Science, University of Wolverhampton
  • 1997 BSc (Hons), Biological Sciences, University of Wolverhampton


  • BSc Medical Science
  • Module lead – Vascular Biology and Haematology (2nd Year)
  • Teaches on several modules across the programme
  • Supervisor of 3rd year projects
  • Small group sessions on Cardiovascular Science modules on MBCHB and BDS programmes
  • Programme Lead MRes Cardiovascular Science
  • Research projects to Masters students


The overall aim of my research is to investigate actin dynamics and the proteins that regulate these processes, in megakaryocytes and platelets. We use a variety of techniques to tackle these issues, with a focus on high resolution fluorescence microscopy. We are applying widefield, confocal, TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence), super-resolution and light sheet microscopy to enable us to image actin dynamics of megakaryocyte or platelets as they activate and interact with their environment. Visualising the dynamics of proteins in live cells will help us characterise the cytoskeleton in these cells in more detail. For example, we have recently identified novel structures in platelets called actin nodules and have used super-resolution microscopy to understand their structure and function.


Thomas SG, Poulter NS, Bem D, Finney B, Machesky LM and Watson SP (2016) The actin binding proteins cortactin and HS1 are dispensable for platelet actin nodule and megakaryocyte podosome formation. Platelets. DOI: 10.1080/09537104.2016.1235688                                                                               

Poulter NS and Thomas SG (2015) Cytoskeletal regulation of platelet formation: Coordination of F-actin and microtubules. Intl. J. Biochem. Cell Bio. 66  pp 69-74.  doi:10.1016/j.biocel.2015.07.008

Cardo L, Thomas SG, Mazharian A, Pikramenou Z, Rappoport JZ, Hannon MJ and Watson SP (2015) Accessible Synthetic Probes for Staining Actin inside Platelets and Megakaryocytes by Employing Lifeact Peptide. ChemBioChem. DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201500120

Poulter NS, Pollitt AY, Davies A, Malinova D, Nash GB, Hannon MJ, Pikramenou Z, Rappoport JZ, Hartwig JH, Owen DM, Thrasher AJ, Watson SP and Thomas SG (2015) Platelet actin nodules are podosome-like structures dependent on Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein and ARP2/3 complex. Nat Commun. Jun 1;6:7254. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8254.

Bem D, Smith H, Banushi B, Burden JJ,  White IJ, Hanley J, Jeremiah N, Rieux-Laucat F, Bettels R, Ariceta G, Mumford AD, Thomas SG, Watson SP and Gissen P. (2015) Vps33b regulates protein sorting into and maturation of a-granule progenitor organelles in mouse megakaryocytes. Blood. blood-2014-12-614677

Pollitt AY, Poulter NS, Gitz E, Navarro-Nuñez L, Wang YJ, Hughes CE, Thomas SG, Nieswandt B, Douglas MR, Owen DM, Jackson DG, Dustin ML and Watson SP. (2014) Syk and Src Family Kinases Regulate C-type Lectin Receptor 2 (CLEC-2)-mediated Clustering of Podoplanin and Platelet Adhesion to Lymphatic Endothelial Cells. J Biol Chem. 289(52) pp 35695-710

Borgognone A, Navarro-Núñez L, Correia JN, Pollitt AY, Thomas SG, Eble JA, Pulcinelli FM, Madhani M and Watson SP. (2014) CLEC-2-dependent activation of mouse platelets is weakly inhibited by cAMP but not by cGMP. J Thromb Haemost. 12(4) pp 550-9.

Schachtner H, Calaminus SD, Thomas SG and Machesky LM (2013) Podosomes in adhesion, migration, mechanosensing and matrix remodelling. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken) 70(10):572-89

Schachtner H, Calaminus SD, Sinclair A, Monypenny J, Blundell MP, Leon C, Holyoake TL, Thrasher AJ, Michie AM, Vukovic M, Gachet C, Jones GE, Thomas SG, Watson SP and Machesky LM (2013) Megakaryocytes assemble podosomes that degrade matrix and protrude through basement membrane. Blood 121(13):2542-52

Davies A, Lewis DJ, Watson SP, Thomas SG and Pikramenou Z (2012) pH-controlled delivery of luminescent europium nanoparticles into platelets. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109(6):1862-7

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