Dr Nicholas Pugh

Deputy Head of School

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Life Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Life sciences , Molecular techniques , Research methodology , Cell and Molecular Biology

Research Supervision:Yes

Nick's research interests concern the signalling mechanisms used by platelets during pathophysiological thrombus formation. He's particularly interested in the role of zinc as extracellular and intracellular signalling molecules.



Having gained his PhD at Imperial College, London in 2003, Nick went on to work as a postdoctoral research scientist at the Babraham Institute (2003-2005) and at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge (2005-2013).

Nick's current research into platelet activation is supported by a British Heart Foundation.

Research interests

  • The role of zinc as a physiologically relevant platelet agonist
  • The role of zinc as a secondary messenger in platelets and other cells
  • Stapled peptides as tools to investigate platelet signalling pathways
  • Quantification of platelet behaviour during thrombus formation in flowing blood

Areas of research supervision

  • First supervisor for PhD student (Niaz Ahmed) who is studying the role of zinc as a secondary messenger during platelet activation
  • Nick welcomes enquiries from prospective postgraduate students in the areas of his research interests.


BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
Module Leader for Laboratory Techniques for the Biomedical Sciences


  • PhD, University of London
  • BSc (Hons), University of Southampton

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member of the Platelet Society
  • Member of the European Peptide Society
  • Member of the British Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

2014-2018. British Heart Foundation project grant. Investigation of the physiological role of zinc in platelet activation during thrombus formation

2016. Wellcome Trust Summer studentship

2018-2021. British Heart Foundation project grant. Investigation of the mechanisms and significance of secondary zinc messaging platelets

Selected recent publications

Iegre, J.I., Wu, W., Ahmed, N.S., Tan, Y.S., Lopes-Pires, M.E., Gaynord, J.S., Lau, Y.H., Sore, H.F., Verma, C., Pugh, N. and Spring, D.R. Stapled peptides as a new technology to investigate protein-protein interactions in human platelets. Chemical Science, 2018, 9, 4638 - 4643

Rosini, S., Bihan, D, Pugh, N., Bonna, A.M., Hulmes, D.H.S, Farndale, R.W. and Adams, J.C. Interactions of Thrombospondin1 with Prolysyl Oxidase and Collagen I Regulate Fibroblast Collagen Matrix via Cell- and Matrix-Loci. Accepted for Publication, Science Signalling.

Howes, J.M., Pugh, N., Smethurst, P.A., Hamaia, S., Knauper, V., Visse, R., Malcor, J-D. and Farndale, R.W. MMP-13 binds to platelet receptors αIIbβ3 and GPVI and impairs aggregation and thrombus formation.  Accepted for Publication Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis

Misra. A., Prakash, P., Aggarwal, H., Dhankani, P., Kumar, S., Pandey, C.P., Pugh, N., Bihan D., Barthwal, M.K., Farndale, R.W., Dikshit, D.K., Dikshit, M. Anti-thrombotic efficacy of S007-867: Pre-clinical evaluation in experimental models of thrombosis in vivo and in vitro. Biochem Pharmacol. 2018. 148:288-297.

Taylor, K.A., Ahmed, N, Wilson, D., Harper, M.T. and Pugh, N. Extracellular chloride is required for efficient activation of secondary signalling pathways during platelet aggregation. Platelets. 2017, 1-5.

Pugh N., Maddox B.D., Bihan D., Taylor K.A., Mahaut-Smith M.P., Farndale R.W. Differential integrin activity mediated by platelet collagen receptor engagement under flow conditions. Thromb Haemost. 2017 117(8):1588-1600.

Taylor, K.A. and Pugh, N. The contribution of zinc to platelet behaviour during haemostasis and thrombosis. Metallomics. 2016. 8(2):144-55.

Watson, B.R., White, N.A., Taylor, K.A., Howes, J.M., Malcor, J-D., Bihan, D., Sage, S.O., Farndale, R.W., Pugh, N. Zinc is a transmembrane agonist that induces platelet activation in a tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent manner. Metallomics. 2016. 20;8(1):91-100.

Howes, J.M., Pugh, N., Knäuper, V. and Farndale, R.W. Modified platelet deposition on matrix metalloproteinase 13 digested collagen I. J Thromb Haemost. 2015. 3(12):2253-9.

Pugh, N., Bihan, D., Perry, D.J. and Farndale, R.W. Dynamic analysis of platelet deposition to resolve platelet adhesion receptor activity in whole blood at arterial shear rate. Platelets. 2015. 26(3):216-9.

de Witt, S.M., Swieringa, F., Cavill, R., Lamers, M.M., van Kruchten, R., Mastenbroek, T., Baaten, C., Coort, S., Pugh, N., Schulz, A., Scharrer, I., Jurk, K., Zieger, B., Clemetson, K.J., Farndale, R.W., Heemskerk, J.W., Cosemans, J.M. Identification of platelet function defects by multi-parameter assessment of thrombus formation. Nat Commun. 2014. 5:4257.

Recent presentations and conferences

2019 Platelet UK meeting, Cambridge, UK. Organising Committee
2018 Zinc UK meeting, ARU, UK. Organising Committee
2017 Platelet UK meeting, Bath, UK. Poster presentation.
2017 International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Netherlands. Poster presentation.
2016 EUPLAN, Bad Homburg, Germany. Poster presentation
2015 Organised and Chaired the 11th Zinc-UK meeting, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.