The Recent History of Platelets in Thrombosis and Other Disorders
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The recent history of research on platelets and its applications in medicine started with the introduction of ex vivo methods for studying platelet behaviour. The Witness Seminar held on 25 November 2003, chaired by Professor Tom Meade, considered the detailed study of platelets starting with the recognition of their role in haemostasis, both in thrombotic and bleeding disorders . Professor Gustav Born described his research and the invention and development of the optical aggregometer that bears his name. Other topics included the biochemistry and function of platelets ; the platelet release reaction and the effect of aspirin on it ; the Nobel Prize-winning discovery by Sir John Vane of how aspirin inhibits the natural production of prostaglandins; and results of randomized controlled trials of aspirin and other thrombolytic drugs for the prevention of thrombotic conditions. An appendix includes a discussion of the streptokinase trials, 1986-96, from the unpublished Witness Seminar meeting on Thrombolysis held on 28 January 2003, chaired by Professor Brian Pentecost. Participants : Dr Y S [Mick] Bakhle, Sir Christopher Booth, Professor Donald Chambers, Professor John Dickinson, Professor Peter Elwood, Professor Rod Flower, Professor Alison Goodall, Professor John Hampton, Professor Michael Harrison, Professor Stan Heptinstall, Dr Peter Hunter, Dr Peter MacCallum, Dr Marty Mahaut-Smith, Professor Salvador Moncada, Professor Michael Oliver, Professor Clive Page, Professor Sir Stanley Peart, Professor Colin Prentice, Professor Peter Richardson, Dr Stewart Sage, and Dr Duncan Thomas; and from Thrombolysis, Dr Hewan Dewar, the late Sir Richard Doll, Professor John Hampton, Dr Arthur Hollman, Professor Desmond Julian, Dr Robin Norris, Professor Tom Quinn, Dr Roger Smith, and Professor Andrew Stevens. Reynolds L A, Tansey E M. (eds) (2005) The Recent history of platelets in thrombosis and other disorders, Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine, vol. 23. London: The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL.