New research award to investigate and treat thrombo-inflammation in diseases where red blood cell destruction occurs

Dr Julie Rayes
Dr Julie Rayes

Dr Julie Rayes, Researcher in Cardiovascular Sciences within the Birmingham Platelet Group at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (ICVS), University of Birmingham, has been awarded a highly regarded Intermediate Fellowship to better understand and to test and repurpose drugs to limit thrombo-inflammation when it is caused by infection or congenital disorders involving the destruction of red blood cells.

Currently, not enough is known about how red cell lysis, or the destruction of red blood cells, induces inflammation and thrombosis. For haemolytic diseases, such as infections or in congenital diseases like sickle cell disease where red blood cells and muscle are destroyed, there is a lack of effective therapies to limit thrombosis and organ damage.

Dr Rayes aims to better understand the mechanisms and identify the pathways involved in these diseases and to test new drugs to limit the clotting of vessels and inflammation so that patients will benefit.

In this five-year fellowship, funded by the British Heart Foundation, Dr Rayes will collaborate with international experts including: Professor David Greaves, Professor of Inflammation Biology at the University of Oxford; Professor Steve Watson, BHF Professor in Cardiovascular Sciences and Cellular Pharmacology, Dr Alex Brill, Senior Research Fellow and Dr Pip Nicholson, Clinical Lecturer in Haematology, all from the  ICVS, University of Birmingham; Dr Kassiani Skordilis, Consultant Pathologist at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Shivan Pancham, Consultant Haematologist at City Hospital Birmingham and Drs Lubka Roumenina and Jordan Dimitrov at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Cordeliers Research Centre (CRC) in Paris.

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