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Breakthroughs in blood clotting

16 September 2011

blood web

World leaders in all aspects of clotting and bleeding disorders met to discuss latest developments in the field at a recent University conference.

Cardiff hosted the 13th UK Platelet Group Meeting at University Hall, attracting more than 165 delegates from across over Europe and the USA.

Cutting-edge research talks were presented in an informal and stimulating atmosphere. Plenary presentations were made by international leaders including Sidney Whiteheart (Lexington, Kentucky), Thomas Renne (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm), Gus Born (William Harvey Research Institute, London), and Peter Collins (Cardiff).

Gus Born webProfessor Gus Born addresses the conference.

The conference saw the announcement of a new breakthrough which could help prevent the harmful blood clots associated with heart disease and stroke, the single greatest cause of disease-related death worldwide. A team from Nottingham and Atlanta have determined the structure of an important protein which is missing in patients suffering from the inherited bleeding disorder Bernard Soulier Syndrome. It marks a major step forward on the way to understanding bleeding disorders and the development of treatments to tackle thrombotic disease. The studies, conducted in the laboratory of Professor Jonas Emsley in Nottingham, were funded by the British Heart Foundation, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA and are published this week in the prestigious journal BLOOD.

The organiser, Professor Valerie O’Donnell of the School of Medicine said: "We were delighted in the unprecedented level of interest in our meeting. It reflects the growing interest in the importance of platelets in all aspects of vascular disease, thrombosis and inflammation."