Dr Vivien J Coulson- Thomas

Vivien J Coulson- Thomas

University position

Research Associate


Department of Clinical Neurosciences


Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair



Research Theme

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


My research involves primarily the study of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans in the field of: stem cells, inflammation, development, injury and regeneration.

Research Focus





Stem cells


Clinical conditions

Autoimmune diseases



Genetic disorders

No direct clinical relevance


Cell culture

Computational modelling

Confocal microscopy

Enzyme assays

Fluorescence microscopy




Protein purification

Recombinant protein expression


United Kingdom

Bruce Caterson

Anthony Day

Andrew Quantock


Jeffrey Esko

Vincent Hascall

Winston Kao

Helena Nader

Associated News Items



    Coulson-Thomas VJ, Chang SH, Yeh LK, Coulson-Thomas YM, Yamaguchi Y, Esko J, Liu CY, Kao W (2015), “Loss of corneal epithelial heparan sulfate leads to corneal degeneration and impaired wound healing.” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 56(5):3004-14 Details

    Coulson-Thomas YM, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Norton AL, Gesteira TF, Cavalheiro RP, Meneghetti MC, Martins JR, Dixon RA, Nader HB (2015), “The Identification of Proteoglycans and Glycosaminoglycans in Archaeological Human Bones and Teeth.” PLoS One 10(6):e0131105 Details

    Coulson-Thomas YM, Gesteira TF, Norton AL, Kao WW, Nader HB, Coulson-Thomas VJ (2015), “The role of proteoglycans in the reactive stroma on tumor growth and progression.” Histol Histopathol 30(1):33-41 Details

    Coulson-Thomas YM, Norton AL, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Florencio-Silva R, Ali N, Elmrghni S, Gil CD, Sasso GR, Dixon RA, Nader HB (2015), “DNA and bone structure preservation in medieval human skeletons.” Forensic Sci Int 251:186-94 Details

    Smith PD, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Foscarin S, Kwok JC, Fawcett JW (2015), “"GAG-ing with the neuron": The role of glycosaminoglycan patterning in the central nervous system.” Exp Neurol Details


    Córdula CR, Lima MA, Shinjo SK, Gesteira TF, Pol-Fachin L, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Verli H, Yates EA, Rudd TR, Pinhal MA, Toma L, Dietrich CP, Nader HB, Tersariol IL (2014), “On the catalytic mechanism of polysaccharide lyases: evidence of His and Tyr involvement in heparin lysis by heparinase I and the role of Ca2+.” Mol Biosyst 10(1):54-64 Details

    Coulson-Thomas VJ, Gesteira TF, Esko J, Kao W (2014), “Heparan sulfate regulates hair follicle and sebaceous gland morphogenesis and homeostasis.” J Biol Chem 289(36):25211-26 Details

    Coulson-Thomas VJ, Gesteira TF, Hascall V, Kao W (2014), “Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells suppress host rejection: the role of the glycocalyx.” J Biol Chem 289(34):23465-81 Details


    Coulson-Thomas VJ, Caterson B, Kao WW (2013), “Transplantation of human umbilical mesenchymal stem cells cures the corneal defects of mucopolysaccharidosis VII mice.” Stem Cells 31(10):2116-26 Details

    Coulson-Thomas VJ, Coulson-Thomas YM, Gesteira TF, Andrade de Paula CA, Carneiro CR, Ortiz V, Toma L, Kao WW, Nader HB (2013), “Lumican expression, localization and antitumor activity in prostate cancer.” Exp Cell Res 319(7):967-81 Details

    Gesteira TF, Pol-Fachin L, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Lima MA, Verli H, Nader HB (2013), “Insights into the N-sulfation mechanism: molecular dynamics simulations of the N-sulfotransferase domain of NDST1 and mutants.” PLoS One 8(8):e70880 Details

    Pompei LM, Steiner ML, Theodoro TR, Souza PZ, Romanini AC, Coulson-Thomas V, Pinhal MA, Fernandes CE (2013), “Effect of estrogen therapy on vascular perlecan and metalloproteinases 2 and 9 in castrated rats.” Climacteric 16(1):147-53 Details

    Yamanaka O, Yuan Y, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Gesteira TF, Call MK, Zhang Y, Zhang J, Chang SH, Xie C, Liu CY, Saika S, Jester JV, Kao WW (2013), “Lumican binds ALK5 to promote epithelium wound healing.” PLoS One 8(12):e82730 Details


    de Paula CA, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Ferreira JG, Maza PK, Suzuki E, Nakahata AM, Nader HB, Sampaio MU, Oliva ML (2012), “Enterolobium contortisiliquum trypsin inhibitor (EcTI), a plant proteinase inhibitor, decreases in vitro cell adhesion and invasion by inhibition of Src protein-focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling pathways.” J Biol Chem 287(1):170-82 Details


    Coulson-Thomas VJ, Coulson-Thomas YM, Gesteira TF, de Paula CA, Mader AM, Waisberg J, Pinhal MA, Friedl A, Toma L, Nader HB (2011), “Colorectal cancer desmoplastic reaction up-regulates collagen synthesis and restricts cancer cell invasion.” Cell Tissue Res 346(2):223-36 Details

    Gesteira TF, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Ogata FT, Farias EH, Cavalheiro RP, de Lima MA, Cunha GL, Nakayasu ES, Almeida IC, Toma L, Nader HB (2011), “A novel approach for the characterisation of proteoglycans and biosynthetic enzymes in a snail model.” Biochim Biophys Acta 1814(12):1862-9 Details

    Gesteira TF, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Taunay-Rodrigues A, Oliveira V, Thacker BE, Juliano MA, Pasqualini R, Arap W, Tersariol IL, Nader HB, Esko JD, Pinhal MA (2011), “Inhibitory peptides of the sulfotransferase domain of the heparan sulfate enzyme, N-deacetylase-N-sulfotransferase-1.” J Biol Chem 286(7):5338-46 Details


    Coulson-Thomas VJ, Gesteira TF, Coulson-Thomas YM, Vicente CM, Tersariol IL, Nader HB, Toma L (2010), “Fibroblast and prostate tumor cell cross-talk: fibroblast differentiation, TGF-β, and extracellular matrix down-regulation.” Exp Cell Res 316(19):3207-26 Details

    Dreyfuss JL, Veiga SS, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Santos IA, Toma L, Coletta RD, Nader HB (2010), “Differences in the expression of glycosaminoglycans in human fibroblasts derived from gingival overgrowths is related to TGF-beta up-regulation.” Growth Factors 28(1):24-33 Details

    Mergler S, Valtink M, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Lindemann D, Reinach PS, Engelmann K, Pleyer U (2010), “TRPV channels mediate temperature-sensing in human corneal endothelial cells.” Exp Eye Res 90(6):758-70 Details


    Coulson-Thomas YM, Coulson-Thomas VJ, Filippo TR, Mortara RA, da Silveira RB, Nader HB, Porcionatto MA (2008), “Adult bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells expressing chondroitinase AC transplanted into CNS injury sites promote local brain chondroitin sulphate degradation.” J Neurosci Methods 171(1):19-29 Details