Blood clots (thrombosis) is a leading global cause of death and disability, resulting in the death of 1 in 4 people worldwide. Many heart attacks and strokes are the result of thrombosis, and a blood clot is often the first sign of an underlying disorder such as cancer. The extremely high prevalence of thrombosis, coupled with its preventability in many cases, make this an important area for research and diagnosis. The Florida Hospital Center for Thrombosis Research provides a high quality blood coagulation diagnostic testing service for the central Florida region and beyond, and undertakes research that is very clinically focused in the area of bleeding and clotting disorders. Current areas of research interest include:
- Mechanisms of platelet activation by therapeutic monoclonal antibodies
- Development and application of thrombin generation assays
- Mechanisms of thrombosis in patients with Antiphospholipid Syndrome
- Role of the platelet CD32a receptor in thrombosis and other disease states
- The role(s) of tumor cell tissue factor in cancer metastasis and primary tumor growth
- The role of procoagulant microparticles in thrombosis associated with cancer and cardiovascular disorders
The Center also performs contract research for the diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries:
- Pre-clinical thrombotic safety of novel monoclonal antibody therapies
- Effects of drugs and devices on primary and secondary hemostasis
- 510(k)-type evaluations of hemostasis instrumentation and reagents
The Florida Hospital Center for Thrombosis Research (FHCTR) was founded in 1994 by Dr. John Francis. Since that time, the Center has grown significantly, and now not only houses a highly productive research program, but also one of the busiest specialist laboratories for blood coagulation testing in the Southeastern United States. The juxtaposition of research and clinical laboratories in this way is rare even in academic medical centers, and is probably unique in a community hospital environment.
The Mission of the FHCTR is to provide high quality clinical laboratory testing for the patients and physicians of Florida Hospital and beyond, and to undertake research that is clinically focused, ethically appropriate and fiscally responsible.
In our clinical laboratory, medical technologists not only provide an extensive clinical diagnostic service, but also lend technical support to our research staff, undertake their own research projects, and perform equipment and reagent evaluations for the diagnostics industry. Our research scientists are engaged in a variety of investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored projects, have contributed over 90 peer-reviewed papers to the medical literature, and have made over 250 presentations at scientific conferences. Educational seminars, Journal Clubs and other educational activities are participated in by clinical and research staff alike.
Although the Center conducts a variety of basic, clinical and contract research, our research programs are largely translational in nature. Every research project that is initiated by our staff must have a clear and tangible patient benefit.