Research

Learn more about the Wakefield Lab's work and impact.

Lab materials
Lab personnel working in the lab

Strategies

The Wakefield Lab employs a number of strategies toward our goal of understanding the complex biology of thrombogenesis, the role of inflammation and developing new and safer treatments. We investigate the processes of selectin inhibition in several animal models including primates. We are also investigating the potential of combination therapy with a selectin inhibitor and standard but lower-dose anticoagulation therapy to help reduce bleeding risk. In fact, we're nearing the end of a three-year National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Vascular Interventions/Innovations and Therapeutic Advances (VITA) effort to look at this novel combination of agents in primates. The next step we hope will be a clinical trial in human patients. 

Since multiple factors lead patients to develop VT, such as cancer, sepsis and stasis/ischemia, we are working to identify the mechanisms, biomarkers and therapeutic targets of each. This work is leading us to look at circulating tissue factor, extracellular traps and blood flow characteristics, and the intercellular adhesion molecule ICAM-1 (CD54), among other promising receptors and factors. Today, VT treatment is one-size-fits-all. We expect that tomorrow's approaches will be targeted and personalized.

Future Directions

We expect to soon conduct a human trial of a selectin inhibitor. This represents the next step along the path to clinical translation so that we can, one day soon, offer more and better targeted options to our patients.

Collaborations

Our laboratory works closely with many investigators within the Conrad Jobst Vascular Research Laboratory and across the University. The U-M is home to an unusually large group of researchers who are interested in thrombosis, and over the years we have collaborated with those working in the areas of Pathology, Immunology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Genetics, Metabolomics, Cardiovascular Medicine and many others.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Vascular Interventions/Innovations and Therapeutic Advances (VITA): GMI 1271 and its Combination with LMWH Promotes Safer and More Effective Treatment of Venous Thrombosis: A Stage B Study
  • NIH T32 Training and Special Programs: Vascular Surgery: Research Training in Vascular Biology (Competitive Renewal Pending)