University of Surrey, Faculty of Health and Medical SciencesMolecular Medicine Group, John McVey


Welcome to the web site of the Molecular Medicine Group. The Group is led by John McVey and was established in May 2008 at the Thrombosis Research Institute (London). The Group is now located in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey, where John is Professor of Cardiovascular Biology.

FVIIa walks a tightrope balancing hemostasis and thrombosis.  Professional illustration, by Marie Dauenhaeimer, from McVey, J. H. (2009).  FVIIa gene delivery: potential for hemophilia.  Blood 13, 3649-3650.Our research focuses on the regulation of blood coagulation and the role the coagulation factors play in normal physiology and in the pathophysiology of disease. Blood coagulation is normally initiated in response to injury in order to preserve the integrity of the vascular system. The ability to stem the loss of body fluids from the site of injury is a basic defence mechanism that is essential for the survival of any multicellular organism. The critical need to rapidly form a stable, localised clot in response to injury must be balanced with the need to maintain blood flow within the vessel. In addition, the process of blood coagulation must be intimately linked with cellular processes that ultimately lead to controlled clot removal and wound/tissue repair.

Inherited defects and/or deficiencies of the blood coagulation factors lead to impaired clot formation and bleeding. The most common bleeding disorders are X-linked deficiencies of factor VIII (haemophilia A) and factor IX (haemophilia B), which affect 1:5000 and 1:30000 male births, respectively.

In contrast, the pathological consequences of inappropriate coagulation include thrombotic events following atherosclerotic plaque rupture and disseminated intravascular coagulation seen in sepsis. Cardiovascular disease, of which thrombosis is a major contributing factor, is the main cause of death in the UK, accounting for 300,000 deaths in 1996, costing the health care system £1,600 million.

Current and future work
  • Studies on the initiation of blood coagulation in disease models
  • Development of novel anticoagulant strategies » More . . .
  • Gene therapy for inherited coagulation factor disorders » More . . .
  • Genetic and functional studies in inherited coagulation disorders » More . . .
  • Role of coagulation factors in modulating delivery of adenoviral gene therapy vectors » More . . .
See the Research page for a description of these projects.