Understanding how aspirin affects blood clotting

Re-evaluating the effects of aspirin on the cardiovascular system

Timothy Warner (lead researcher)

Queen Mary, University of London

Start date: 01 November 2017 (Duration 3 years)

Professor Timothy Warner at Queen Mary, University of London is investigating how best to use aspirin to protect against heart attacks and strokes. During a heart attack small cells in the blood called platelets become activated and stick together to form a blood clot. This blocks the blood vessel supplying the heart, stopping blood reaching the heart muscle. People at risk of heart attack are often given aspirin to stop platelets sticking together. Aspirin works by blocking a molecule called cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) in platelets, preventing them from becoming activated. But because aspirin also blocks other related chemicals throughout the body, which can lessen its anti-clotting effects, sometimes aspirin isn’t as effective as it should be. Lab tests are used to measure COX-1 activity and understand the effects of aspirin in people with heart and circulatory disease. But Professor Warner believes that some of these results may be misleading. In this project, he wants to study effects of aspirin on platelets and other cells to better understand how to use it most effectively in disease, how to test its effectiveness, and how it interacts with other cardiovascular drugs. This research will help us better understand aspirin’s effects in the body and may reveal new ways to optimise anti-clotting treatments that better protect those at risk of heart attack and stroke.

Project details

Grant amount £239,026
Grant type Project Grant
Start Date 01 November 2017
Duration 3 years
Reference PG/17/40/33028
Status In progress

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