Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Professor of Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology



+44 (0)20 7594 3172s.rankin




Ms Georgina Moss +44 (0)20 7594 2151




Office no. 351Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Sara Rankin is Professor of Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.

Professor Rankin obtained a first class Hons Degree and PhD in Pharmacology from Kings College, London. She then undertook postdoctoral positions in the Department of Medicine, UCSD, and at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK).

Professor Rankin joined the Leukocyte Biology Section of the Institute in 1995 with a Wellcome Trust Career Development Award. She subsequently obtained a Wellcome Trust University award and is now a Professor in Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology.

Her research focuses on understanding the impact of the bone marrow in inflammatory diseases and elucidating the molecular mechanisms regulating the exit of leukocytes and stem cells from the bone marrow.

Current research areas include:

•  Neutrophil clearance by the bone marrow.
•  Molecular mechanisms regulating the mobilisation of haematopoietic, endothelial and mesenchymal progenitor cells.
•  Trafficking of mesenchymal stem cells in vivo.
•  The role of endothelial progenitor cells in angiogenesis in models of allergic airways inflammation.

Professor Rankin currently holds grants from the Wellcome Trust, The European Commission, the British Heart Foundation, the Medical Research Council and Industrial collaborators.

She was awarded her Certificate in Advanced Studies in Learning and Teaching in 2001. She is a postgraduate tutor and Deputy Head of Postgraduate studies for NHLI. Professor Rankin is the Institute lead for Outreach and is involved in a variety of public engagement and outreach activities.  Professor Rankin is on the Education Committee for the British Pharmacological Society and is a Fellow of the Society of Biology.

Finally, Professor Rankin is involved in the organisation of the following meetings:

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Redpath AN, Francois M, Wong S-P, et al., 2017, Two distinct CXCR4 antagonists mobilize progenitor cells in mice by different mechanisms, Blood Advances, Vol:1, ISSN:2473-9529, Pages:1934-1943

Eftaxiopoulou T, Barnett-Vanes A, Arora H, et al., 2016, Prolonged but not short duration blast waves elicit acute inflammation in a rodent model of primary blast limb trauma, Injury - International Journal of the Care of the Injured, Vol:47, ISSN:0020-1383, Pages:625-632

Johnson JR, Folestad E, Rowley JE, et al., 2015, Pericytes contribute to airway remodeling in a mouse model of chronic allergic asthma, American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Vol:308, ISSN:1040-0605, Pages:L658-L671

Singh RK, Furze RC, Birrell MA, et al., 2014, A role for Rab27 in neutrophil chemotaxis and lung recruitment, BMC Cell Biology, Vol:15, ISSN:1471-2121

Santo AIE, Chan JK, Glass GE, et al., 2014, Enhancement of fracture repair by upregulation of the innate immune response, European Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol:44, ISSN:0014-2972, Pages:30-31

Byrne AJ, Jones CP, Gowers K, et al., 2013, Lung Macrophages Contribute to House Dust Mite Driven Airway Remodeling via HIF-1α, PLOS One, Vol:8, ISSN:1932-6203

Strydom N, Lo Celso C, Rankin SM, 2013, Dynamic changes in neutrophil expression of chemokine receptors with aging and disease, European Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol:43, ISSN:0014-2972, Pages:13-14

Rankin SM, Martin C, Burdon PC, et al., 2013, Bone marrow - birth place and grave yard for neutrophils, European Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol:43, ISSN:0014-2972, Pages:12-12

Strydom N, Rankin SM, 2013, Regulation of Circulating Neutrophil Numbers under Homeostasis and in Disease, Journal of Innate Immunity, Vol:5, ISSN:1662-811X, Pages:304-314

Pitchford SC, Lodie T, Rankin SM, 2012, VEGFR1 stimulates a CXCR4-dependent translocation of megakaryocytes to the vascular niche, enhancing platelet production in mice, Blood, Vol:120, ISSN:0006-4971, Pages:2787-2795

Rankin SM, 2012, Chemokines and adult bone marrow stem cells, Immunology Letters, Vol:145, ISSN:0165-2478, Pages:47-54

Rankin S, 2012, Mesenchymal stem cells, Thorax, Vol:67, ISSN:0040-6376, Pages:565-566

Singh RK, Liao W, Tracey-White D, et al., 2012, Rab27a-mediated protease release regulates neutrophil recruitment by allowing uropod detachment, Journal of Cell Science, Vol:125, ISSN:0021-9533, Pages:1652-1656

Jones CP, Rankin SM, 2011, Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells and Respiratory Disease, Chest, Vol:140, ISSN:0012-3692, Pages:205-211

Rankin SM, 2010, The bone marrow: a site of neutrophil clearance, Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Vol:88, ISSN:0741-5400, Pages:241-251


Bo C, Williams A, Rankin S, et al., 2014, Integrated experimental platforms to study blast injuries: a bottom-up approach, 18th Joint Int Conf of the APS Topical-Grp on Shock Compress of Condensed Matter / 24th Int Conf of the Int-Assoc-for-the-Advancement-of-High-Pressure-Sci-and-Technol, IOP PUBLISHING LTD, ISSN:1742-6588

Bo C, Balzer J, Hahnel M, et al., 2012, CELLULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF COMPRESSION-INDUCEDDAMAGE IN LIVE BIOLOGICAL SAMPLES, 7th Biennial Conference of the American-Physical-Society-Topical-Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter, AMER INST PHYSICS, ISSN:0094-243X

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