Adhesion receptors in the vasculature: from mouse to human

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Clinical and Experimental Medicine


PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT IN SCIENCE. This application brings together nine research groups, three of which are headed by clinicians, to investigate various aspects of the blood vasculature in health and disease. Each group has expertise in distinct but complementary areas of research and bringing them together through the formation of an MRC co-operative group has several advantages including (i) added value that will come from closer interactions and shared expertise within the co-operative group; (ii) a reduction in research costs through sharing of materials and equipment; and, most importantly, (iii) the opportunity to take on more complex scientific problems. The co-operative will focus on vascular diseases including atherosclerosis, thrombosis and the generation of new blood vessels in cancer and tissue repair. In addition the role of the vasculature in inflammatory disease will be studied in the context of direct damage to blood vessels (vasculitis) or conditions where inflammation occurs in tissues as a consequence of inappropriate recruitment of inflammatory cells from the blood (inflammatory liver disease and rheumatoid arthritis). These diseases are all caused by defects in the same types of vascular cells including white blood cells, endothelial cells (which line the blood vessel) and platelets. Thus, the knowledge of one research group in the role of a particular disease or cell type will be readily applicable to that of another. The bringing together of clinically-based and basic research groups with complementary expertise in related areas will enable us to define the molecular mechanisms of vascular physiology and pathology and thereby to provide important new insights into disease processes which are a major health burden on society.

Technical Summary

This is a request to establish an MRC Co-operative Group at the University of Birmingham to investigate the role of adhesion molecules and their receptors within the vasculature in health and disease. The co-operative will be made up of three clinical groups with active research laboratories and six basic science groups with expertise in a variety of vascular cells including endothelial cells, haematopoietic cell precursors, fibroblasts, lymphocytes, mast cells, megakaryocytes, neutrophils, platelets and smooth muscle. Seven of these groups already have a strong track record of collaboration and interaction in Birmingham and have played a major role in establishing an international reputation for the University in the field of adhesion events in the vasculature. The arrival of Watson and Frampton from Oxford builds on this by bringing skills in mouse genetics, a strengthening of intracellular signalling and provision of complementary expertise in platelets and thrombosis. Eight of these groups, and part of the ninth group, will relocate to two new research facilities, the Institute of Biomedical Research (IBR) and the adjacent Cardiovascular Link Building (CLB), in the autumn of 2003 thereby providing a further impetus to the formation of the co-operative grouping. Several of the members of the co-operative are also part of The MRC Centre for Immune Regulation which will move to the IBR at this time. The theme of this application is highly complementary to the work of the MRC Centre and both groups will benefit from their close proximity and overlapping interests.


10 25 50
publication icon
Adams DH (2018) Could endothelial TGFß signaling be a promising new target for liver disease? in Expert review of gastroenterology & hepatology

Description Wellcome Programme Grant (The early events in signalling by platelet ITAM and ITAM-like receptors)
Amount £1,246,548 (GBP)
Funding ID 088410/Z/09/Z 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2009 
End 07/2014
Description BHF supporters meeting - Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Overview of cardiovascular research and how supporters fundraising helps with research

Feedback was incredibly positive, the lab tour was a particular success. Supporters found out about how we are fighting cardiovascular disease in Birmingham and how their fundraising is helping our research; it gave them even more of an incentive to help the BHF and made them feel proud to see how their hard work fundraising has achieved.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2014,2015