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Cambridge Cardiovascular



Supervisor: Dr Matthew Harper

Title: The roles of mitochondria in platelet activation

Abstract: Platelets are central to the development of arterial thrombosis, a serious cardiovascular event. There is a clear need to develop novel anti-thrombotics since the incidence of thrombosis remains high despite current anti-platelet therapies.

Upon activation, two subsets of platelets are formed: pro-aggregatory platelets with active integrins, and pro-coagulant platelets that expose phosphatidylserine (PS) on their surface. Mitochondria play an integral role in the activation of both subpopulations of platelets. Following stimulation, mitochondrial oxygen consumption increases rapidly in pro-aggregatory platelets whilst in pro-coagulant platelets there is opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore.

My PhD project aims to perform the first detailed characterisation of the roles of mitochondria in platelet activation and to determine the role of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in platelet PS exposure. Furthermore, I aim to use mitochondrially targeted drugs to alter the balance of subpopulations formed upon stimulation and assess whether this could be a feasible novel anti-thrombotic approach.


BHF 4-Year Programme PhD Student
 Sarah  Burgess


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