Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Dr Nicholas Pugh

Associate Professor and Interim Deputy Dean (Research and Innovation)

Medical Technology Research Centre

Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Life sciences , Molecular techniques , Research methodology , Cell and Molecular Biology
Research Supervision:

Nick Pugh is Deputy Head of School and Associate Professor, with a remit that covers Research and Income generation. He teaches on the BSc (Hons) Biomedical science degree course and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His research interests concern the regulation of platelet function during blood clotting.

[email protected]

Twitter: @DrNickPugh, @LabPugh

Connect with Nick on Linkedin


Nick gained his PhD at Imperial College, London in 2003 in the laboratory of Prof. Alan Williams, working on the pore structure of the cardiac Ryanodine Receptor. Following this, he went on to work as a postdoctoral research scientist at the Babraham Institute (2003-2005) with Dr. Geoffrey Butcher on a project investigating the GIMAP family of GTPases.

He was then employed as a postdoctoral research associate by Prof. Richard Farndale at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge (2005-2013). He joined ARU in 2013 as a senior lecturer, was appointed Deputy Head of Department in 2016, Deputy Head of School in 2018, and Reader in 2020. He is now Associate Professor.

Nick's current research into platelet activation is supported by a British Heart Foundation project grant (PG/18/64/33922).

Research interests

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.

Current research projects include:

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

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
  • Guest editor of the Journal of Visualised Experiments (JoVE)
  • 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

2019-2021. British Heart Foundation project grant. Investigation of the mechanisms and significance of secondary zinc messaging platelets

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

Selected recent publications

Ahmed NS, Lopes-Pires ME, Pugh N. Zinc: an endogenous and exogenous regulator of platelet function during hemostasis and thrombosis. Platelets. 2020 Nov 15:1-8. doi: 10.1080/09537104.2020.1840540.

Lopes-Pires ME, Ahmed NS, Vara D, Gibbins JM, Pula G, Pugh N. Zinc regulates reactive oxygen species generation in platelets. Platelets. 2020 Apr 5:1-10. doi: 10.1080/09537104.2020.1742311.

Ahmed NS, Lopes Pires ME, Taylor KA, Pugh N. Agonist-Evoked Increases in Intra-Platelet Zinc Couple to Functional Responses. Thromb Haemost. 2019 Jan;119(1):128-139. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1676589.

Burzynski, L. C., Pugh, N. and Clarke, M. C. (2019). Platelet Isolation and Activation Assays. Bio-protocol 9(20): e3405. doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3405.

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

2020 Organised and Chaired the 'Zinc Zoom' seminar series.

2020 'Blood and Bone' seminar presentation.

2019 Platelet UK meeting, Cambridge, UK. Organising Committee. Chaired a session.

2019 Organised and Chaired the 14th Zinc UK meeting, Anglia Ruskin University, UK. Organising Committee. Chair.

2019 14th Zinc Net meeting, Anglia Ruskin University, UK. Oral presentation.

2018 Zinc UK meeting, Anglia Ruskin University, UK. Organising Committee.

2017 Platelet UK meeting, Bath, UK. Poster presentation.

2017 International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Berlin. Poster presentation.

2016 EUPLAN, Bad Homburg, Germany. Poster presentation.

2015 Organised and Chaired the 11th Zinc-UK meeting, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

Media experience

2021 ‘Up close and personal with platelets’, Teach Me in 10 presentation for Technology Networks.

2021 'Clot Chat’ interview for the platelet society.