Supervisors: Dr Elizabeth Finding and Prof Caroline Wheeler-Jones 

Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences   

Project Details

Critically ill horses and neonatal foals are predisposed to coagulopathies. These reduce survival and prolong hospitalisation. Equine coagulation testing is relatively basic with little investigation of the key clotting factor Von Willebrand Factor (VWF). VWF storage in endothelial cells (ECs) is precisely ordered, essential to its haemostatic function in the circulation. We discovered that VWF is stored differently in equine ECs, implying differences in its haemostatic function. This project will investigate the secretion (and function – if time permits) of VWF from equine ECs under simulated disease conditions to address our hypothesis that hypernatremia and inflammation regulate VWF secretion in equine endothelial cells. 


  1. Epstein KL. Coagulopathies in Horses. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice. 2014;30(2):437-452. 

  2. Ferraro, F., da Silva, M., Grimes, W. et al. Weibel-Palade body size modulates the adhesive activity of its von Willebrand Factor cargo in cultured endothelial cells. Sci Rep. 2016: 6:32473.  

  3. Dmitrieva NI, Burg MB. Secretion of von Willebrand factor by endothelial cells links sodium to hypercoagulability and thrombosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(17):6485-6490.  



  • Must meet our standard MRes entry requirements.
  • Strong interest in cardiovascular cell biology and physiology. 


  • Experience of in vitro investigation of endothelial cells and/or platelets (human or animal)

This project can be taken full-time commencing in October 2024, based at RVC's Camden campus. 

Whilst there will be no use of research animals in this project, the study will use blood and tissue samples from horses post-mortem. These samples will be collected by experienced colleagues and training will be provided if the candidate wishes to develop these skills. 


Partially fundedthe lab will be covering the project costs, with the MRes student expected to meet the course fees and their living expenses. 

International applicants are welcome to apply but must be able to fund the difference between "Home" and "Overseas" tuition fees. Please note that EU/EEA and Swiss national students may no longer be eligible for the “Home” rate of tuition fees, dependent on personal circumstances (including immigration status and residence history in the UK) and UK government rules which are currently being developed. For up-to-date information on fees for EU/EEA and Swiss national students following Brexit please see our fees and funding page. 

How to Apply

For more information on the application process and English Language requirements see How to Apply.

Deadline: 1pm UK time, Friday 5th April

We welcome informal enquiries - these should be directed to Dr Elizabeth Finding ( 

Interview date and location: TBC

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