Simon Pitchford

Simon Pitchford


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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Simon Pitchford is a Reader in Immunopharmacology within the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and is a member of the Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology (SIPP). Simon obtained his PhD at KCL in 2003 and was then awarded a European Respiratory Society Research Fellowship to undertake post-doctoral studies at the University of Perugia, Italy. Simon then extended his post-doctoral studies at Imperial College London in 2005 before returning to KCL in 2010.


Simon is interested in understanding the character and functions of platelets during host defence and inflammatory diseases. These actions of platelets are dissociated from their well-characterized involvement in haemostasis and thrombosis, and suggest a dichotomy in platelet activation and function exists that is dependent on the nature of the insult to the body.

Simon’s research contributions have revealed that platelet activation is often critical for inflammation to progress. Indeed, the mechanisms by which platelets participate in inflammation are diverse, and as a member of SIPP, Simon has reported the requirement for platelets during inflammatory cell recruitment and also processes associated with chronic inflammation.

Simon is currently exploiting knowledge of these platelet activation pathways to assess how these might lead to the development of new therapies either to ‘boost’ host defence to combat infection, or conversely to ‘dampen’ inflammation in the case of inflammatory disorders such as asthma, COPD, and rheumatoid arthritis. This might offer numerous opportunities for future drug intervention that are currently lacking with established anti-platelet drugs that have been developed for inhibiting platelet aggregation, or anti-inflammatory drugs that do not affect platelet activation.

Research Interests

Simon collaborates with groups from Imperial College London, The Babraham Institute Cambridge, The Defence Science and Technology laboratory (DSTL), University of Perugia (Italy) and University of Freiburg (Germany). Simon develops both integrated (in vivo) and novel in vitro techniques to study platelet function in the following areas:

  • The dichotomy of platelet activation, comparing activation during inflammatory responses applicable to host defence, to haemostasis and thrombosis.
  • Novel pharmacological opportunities for platelet modulation with respect to inflammation and host defence.
  • Mechanisms by which platelets affect inflammatory cell trafficking, tissue damage, and tissue regeneration.
  • The involvement of platelets in the development of the adaptive immune response.
  • Characterizing platelet motility and migratory capacities in response to inflammatory stimuli.
  • Mechanisms of platelet production during inflammation.

Research interests (short)

The dichotomy of platelet activation between inflammatory events and thrombus formation.
Mechanisms by which platelets affect inflammatory cell trafficking, tissue damage, and tissue remodelling.
Novel pharmacological opportunities for platelet inhibition.
Role of stem cells and platelets in tissue regeneration.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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