How platelets change their shape and stick together

Coronin is a negative regulator of platelet spreading and thrombus formation

Francisco Rivero (lead researcher)

Hull, University of

Start date: 01 July 2016 (Duration 3 years)

Supervised by Dr Francisco Rivero, the PhD student on this project is working out why platelets become sticky and form blood clots within blood vessels, and if there is a way to prevent this happening.

Platelets are a type of blood cell that, when activated, become sticky and clump together to form blood clots to stop bleeding after injury. But platelets can also form blood clots inside blood vessels, called thrombosis, which may cause heart attacks and strokes.

To help platelets become clump together, they have to change their shape. This requires special proteins inside the platelet that act like a scaffold. Dr Rivero has discovered that platelets without a protein called coronin can change shape more easily. We don’t yet know what coronin does within the platelet – but Dr Rivero believes it stops platelets from becoming activated and sticky.

In this project, Dr Rivero’s PhD student will investigate how coronin stops platelets becoming activated and sticking together. They will study how mouse platelets without coronin form blood clots, and how they differ from clots formed by normal platelets.

This work will reveal more about the link between coronin and platelet activation and could help design better drugs to treat patients with thrombosis.

Project details

Grant amount £106,915
Grant type Fellowship
Application type PhD Studentship
Start Date 01 July 2016
Duration 3 years
Reference FS/15/46/31606
Status In progress

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