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Research area(s)

The principle focus of my research is elucidate and understand the complex roles played by immune cells in vascular inflammation and thrombosis. The aim of my research it to design tailored next generation therapeutics for inflammatory pathologies that temper inflammation and enhance resolution.

Within the continuum of an inflammatory response, the objective of my research is to study the role of the microvasculature as a dynamic-interface between circulating blood cells and immune cells (such as neutrophils and platelets) and tissue. My lab focuses on how circulating cells communicate, adhere and migrate across the endothelium and the pathways by which these circulating and resident cells can render systemic inflammatory responses and alter local inflammatory and thrombotic states. By targeting the pathophysiology of endogenous pro-resolving pathways such as the Annexin A1-Formyl Peptide Receptor (AnxA1-FPR) pathway, we hope to identify novel and innovative anti-inflammatory therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular and cerbrovascular diseas

The research in my laboratory crosses the boundaries between Integrative physiology and pharmacology and uses multidisciplinary approaches to advance understanding of the vascular physiology and pathophysiology of inflammatory and related disorders, at the molecular, cellular, tissue and whole organism levels. To achieve this goal, we use a technological toolbox compromising of various experimental in-silico, in-vitro and in-vivo systems and advanced imaging modalities (including confocal intravital microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]; positron emission tomography [PET], and in-vivo imaging systems [IVIS]), coupled with multi-omics approaches to dissect the contribution of neutrophils and platelets in inflammation, thrombosis and vascular dysfunction. 

Neutrophils release their extracellular traps (NETs)

Leukocytes and platelets in an inflamed cerebral pial vessel (image captured using intravital microscopy)

Research Interests

  • Inflammation
  • Thrombosis (arterial and venous)
  • Resolution of inflammation
  • Immune mediated responses in normal and pathological conditions
  • Neutrophil-Platelet interactions
  • Ischaemia reperfusion injury (I/RI)
  • Healthy ageing
  • Formyl Peptide Receptors (FPRs)
  • Annexin A1 Biology
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Inflammation in Cancer
  • Pre-clinical imaging
  • Drug discovery and resolution biologics
  • Novel drug delivery systems e.g Nanocarriers

Research grants and projects

Research Projects

Grants

Investigating the protective effect of CD34+ stem cells in stroke
Funder: LSUHSC-S
Duration: -

Malcolm Feist Cardiovascular grant

Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship
Funder: Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship
Duration: August 2019 - August 2025
Investigating the dysfunction of the cerebral microvasculature in sickle cell disease
Funder: 1. The National Institute of Health/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH/NHLBI)
Duration: April 2017 - April 2021
The therapeutic potential of Bryostatin-1 for use in the field of transplant medicine
Funder: LSUHSC-S
Duration: July 2016 - June 2017

• Eastern Star New Idea Award

A novel role for neutrophils in sickle cell disease: new avenues to target cerebral microvascular dysfunction
Funder: The American Heart Association (AHA) Innovation Grant
Duration: January 2016 - December 2017
Investigating the Effects of Splenectomy in Stroke
Funder: LSUHSC-S
Duration: January 2016 - June 2017

Malcolm Feist Cardiovascular grant

Understanding cerebral microvasculature dysfunction in sickle cell disease
Funder: 5. The National Institute of Health/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH/NHLBI)
Duration: September 2015 - August 2017
CD34+ Stem Cell Administration in a New Model of Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Macaca Fascicularis
Funder: LSUHSC-S
Duration: July 2015 - June 2016

Translational Grant

Investigating the Annexin A1-Formyl peptide receptor pathway to develop innovative anti-stroke drugs
Funder: LSUHSC-S
Duration: July 2015 - June 2017

Partners Across Campus grant

Formyl peptide receptors: novel targets for imaging inflammation.
Funder: British Research Council
Duration: January 2013 - June 2014

British Research Council/Innovations Therapeutic Primer Funds:

Molecular Imaging of novel Therapeutic Agents
Funder: BBSRC
Duration: -

BBSRC Industry Interchange Application.

Studying cellular interactions in stroke’
Funder: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Duration: June 2010 - September 2010

Summer Placement studentship

building capacity awards
Funder: Medical Research Council (MRC)
Duration: January 2010 - December 2013

Consumable funding

‘Designing Novel Bio-Marker for Imaging’.
Funder: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Duration: January 2010 - December 2013

BBSRC Industry Interchange Application

Building capacity awards.
Funder: Medical Research Council
Duration: January 2009 - December 2011

studentships over 2009-2011 in biomedical imaging

Cytoprotective activated protein C and stroke
Funder: British Heart Foundation
Duration: January 2009 - December 2012

BHF Project grant

understanding leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions in stroke
Funder: Society of Endocrinology small grant
Duration: January 2008 - December 2009
Studying the effect of sexual dimorphisms on the HPA
Funder: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Duration: January 2008 - December 2010

PhD studentship

investigating anti-coagulant mechanisms in diabetes’
Funder:
Duration: January 2007 - December 2008