The University of Southampton
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Dr Nicola Englyst BSc (Hons), PhD

Associate Professor, Programme Leader for MSc Diabetes Best Practice,Lead for Mentoring Scheme

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As Programme Leader for the MSc Diabetes Best Practice programme I have a real opportunity to improve diabetes care in the UK and internationally, through education of health professionals. My research team is changing the way we measure and phenotype tiny microvesicles, as well as exploring the relationship between microvesicles and disease. As Lead for the Mentoring Scheme in the Faculty I am committed to helping staff and students reach their full potential.

Challenging perceptions through innovative research, teaching and mentoring.

Dr Englyst graduated with a BSc (Hons) and a PhD from the University of Aberdeen before moving to Cambridge to complete her first postdoctoral research position. She then moved to the University of Southampton in 1999 where she was subsequently awarded a University Career Track Fellowship followed by a Fellowship from Research into Ageing and a National Endowments for Science, Technology and the Arts CRUCIBLE Fellowship. Dr Englyst was appointed as Lecturer in Physiology in 2007 to a post that combines research with teaching, as Coordinator for the Endocrinology and Life Cycle module and Semester 4 Coordinator for BM5 teaching. In 2015, Nicola was appointed as Associate Professor within the Faculty of Medicine. She is also now Programme Leader for the MSc Diabetes Best Practice, a newly developed programme to improve patient care in diabetes.

Dr Englyst’s research interests are based around coagulation, in a translational approach ranging from what happens at the molecular and cellular level through to what happens in the patient. In particular, Dr Englyst researches interactions between coagulation, inflammation, endothelial cells and platelets. These interlinked areas are particularly important in vascular disease and Dr Englyst has a strong interest in the effects of infection and inflammation in ischemic stroke, since patients who have an infection just after a stroke have a worse prognosis. More recently, Dr Englyst has expanded these interests to explore the role of cellular microvesicles in health and disease. Microvesicles Facebook

Dr Englyst is the Lead for the Faculty of Medicine Mentoring Scheme which provides a mentoring service for all staff. As well as maintaining a database of mentors, Dr Englyst organises mentoring workshops and training for both mentors and mentees. Dr Englyst has been involved with the Faculty of Medicine’s Postdoctoral Association since its inception, and currently serves on the committee. She is the Chair of the Postdoctoral Mentoring Scheme which provides a mentoring service for all research staff. As well as maintaining a database of mentors, Dr Englyst organises mentoring workshops and training for both mentors and mentees. Dr Englyst is also the Pastoral Tutor for the MSc in Allergy and the MSc in Public Health Nutrition at the University of Southampton.


BSc (Hons), Biochemistry, University of Aberdeen (1993)
PhD, University of Aberdeen (1996)
PCAP, University of Southampton (2008)

Appointments held

Research Fellow, Clinical Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge (1996-1999)

Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton (1999-2033)

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton (2003-2007)

Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton (2007- 2105)






Research interests

The primary focus of Dr Englyst’s research is the interaction between coagulation, inflammation and the endothelium. These interactions may be important in health, the natural processes of ageing and a variety of diseases including stroke and cardiovascular disease. Dr Englyst is also committed to improving medical education in the University of Southampton and has several ongoing research projects in the education field.


Microvesicles Facebook

The role of coagulation, inflammation, and the vascular endothelium in recovery from ischemic stroke

Endothelial cells lining blood vessels are pivotal in controlling haemostasis and therefore thrombus formation. In addition, inflammation modulates endothelial cell behaviour, whilst endothelial cells contribute to inflammation. Therefore studying the interactions between endothelial cells, coagulation and inflammation may provide insight into the mechanisms involved in stroke. Stroke patients who develop a subsequent infection have a worse prognosis, suggesting that infection and inflammation may also alter physiological recovery pathways after a stroke. This process is currently not understood.

Dr Englyst has generated a database of blood samples, biochemical measurements and clinical information including recovery indices, from a cohort of patients who have had an ischemic stroke, and from age- and gender-matched volunteers. These data have been collected within 72 hours of having a stroke, at 6 months and 2 years. This database has been used to generate a number of publications and abstracts, and provides a resource for future research.

To date, using this cohort, Dr Englyst and her coauthors have demonstrated that;
(1) Resistance to aspirin in platelets is associated with stroke severity and lacunar strokes, as well as high levels of IL-6 in ischemic stroke;
(2) Poor long term recovery from stroke is associated with inflammation and microvascular activation at baseline;
(3) Levels of the naturally occurring anticoagulant, activated protein C, are related to mortality after ischemic stroke.
(4) Body fat levels are related to physiological anticoagulant activity
(5) Weight loss in the 2 years after a stroke may have an inflammatory component, and is associated with a poorer recovery from stroke.

Endothelial microparticles in health and disease

Microparticles are produced by a variety of cell types. Of particular interest are endothelial microparticles. Endothelial microparticles are produced upon stimulation/activation/damage of endothelial cells, and so may act as an early biomarker for endothelial cell damage. A number of studies have suggested that endothelial microparticle numbers are elevated in a variety of diseases, including vascular disease. In addition, evidence is accumulating that endothelial microparticles may have biological roles, for example in signaling. As such, differential expression of proteins and lipids may influence the function of microparticle significantly.

The current challenge in this field is to develop a robust and sensitive method for counting and phenotyping microparticles. Dr Englyst currently has a Kerkut Trust PhD student working on developing such a method, to apply to cardiovascular surgery. Dr Englyst’s group is also investigating the role of endothelial microparticles in coagulation. By characterizing the phenotype and function of microparticles, it may be possible to use them as early markers of damage to the vasculature or as markers of a poor prognosis, for example bleeding after surgery.

Molecular modulation of physiological vascular anticoagulant pathways

Endothelial cells are critical in maintaining haemostasis, and damage to endothelial cells is likely to produce a procoagulant state. Generation of one of the main physiological anticoagulant, activated protein C, is regulated by a system of receptors on the endothelial cells surface. Dr Englyst’s group have developed an endothelial cell culture based assay for measuring activated protein C generation. This system is currently being used to investigate the effects of a number of inflammatory molecules on anticoagulant generation, and to identify pharmacological interventions that protect against production of a procoagulant state. This knowledge is applicable to a variety of diseases, including deep vein thrombosis, sepsis, stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Do educational changes benefit the student and/or the educator?

Dr Englyst has developed several innovations designed to improve delivery of education. These include development of interactive elearning case based virtual patients. Currently she is examining the best vehicle for obtaining feedback from students. As well as improving medical education in the Faculty of Medicine, Dr Englyst and her collaborators will continue to bring this research to a wider audience through publication and presentation at conferences.

I currently have 4 main approaches to microparticles as biomarkers:

  1. Endothelial microparticles in vascular disease (PI, with Dr J Holloway, Dr D Smith, Prof. G Clough)
  2. Platelet microparticles as predictors of bleeding after surgery (Drs D Smith and J Holloway)
  3. Leukocyte microparticles in infection (PI, with Dr J Holloway, Dr D Smith and Prof J Wilkinson)
  4. Leukocyte microparticles in allergy (with Dr J Holloway, Prof J Holloway and Dr J Lucas)

My coagulation research fall into 3 main areas:

  1. Microparticles as coagulation vehicles (PI, with Dr J Holloway, Prof J Holloway, Dr P Williamson)
  2. Function of single platelets (with Dr J West)
  3. Resistance to anti-platelet drugs (with Prof. Curzen)
PhD supervision

2013 James Atherton PhD

2013 Joshua Welsh PhD
2014 Giedo Elamin PhD
2014 Maaike Jongen PhD
2015 Eman Al Abdulsalam

Academic unit(s)

Human Development and Health Academic Units

Affiliate academic unit(s)

Human development and physiology Research group

Programme Leader MSc Diabetes Best Practice

Postgraduate student supervision

I supervise a number of PhD, MD, MSc, MMedSc, BMedSc and project students.

Faculty of Medicine
  • Safety Representative for Endocrinology and Metabolism Unit (2001-2005)
  • Postdoctoral Association Representative (2004-current)
  • Mentoring Committee Member (2006-current)
  • Lead for Mentoring (2010-current)
  • Pastoral Tutor for MSc in Public Health Nutrition (2010-2015)
  • Pastoral Tutor for MSc in Allergy (2011-2015)
  • BM5 steering groups and committees (2009-2015)
  • Postgraduate Taught Programmes steering groups and committees (2015-current)
University of Southampton

Member of Senate (2005-2008)




Programme Leader for MSc Diabetes Best Practice (2015-current)
MSc Diabetes Best Practice Foundations Module lead (2015-current)
Endocrinology and Life Cycle Module Lead, BM5 (2009-2015)
Semester 4 Lead for BM5 (2011-2015)
Lecturing to BM5 and BM4 programmes
Development of Horizon series for BM5 students
MMedSc and BMedSc project supervision
PhD, MD and MSc project supervision

Dr Nicola Englyst
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Building 85, Life Sciences Building, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO171BJ

Room Number:SGH/IDS

Telephone:(023) 8120 6925

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