Thomas W Wakefield MD

Professor, Surgery
Vascular Surgery, Surgery
Clinical Interests:

Vascular Surgery - arterial and venous, vascular diagnostics, coagulation and hypercoagulable states.

Video profile


U of M Vascular Surgery

Cardiovascular Center Floor 3 Reception B
1500 E Medical Center Dr SPC 5329
Ann Arbor

U of M Vascular Surgery

Cardiovascular Center Floor 5 Rm 5179
1500 E Medical Center Dr SPC 5867
Ann Arbor


Medical School or Training

  • Medical College of Ohio/University of Toledo, 1978


  • University of Michigan Health System, Surgery General, MI, 1984


  • Vascular Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, 1986

Board Certification

  • Surgery

  • Vascular Surgery


Research in the Wakefield portion of the Conrad Jobst Vascular Research Laboratory (CJVRL)involves evaluating at the role of inflammation in thrombogenesis. Using both rodent and primate animal models, we have studied the relationship of inflammation to thrombosis and thrombus amplification. We have found that selectins, specifically P-selectin, appear to be quite important in the thrombogenesis process. For example, if P-selectin is inhibited with either an antibody or a small molecule inhibitor, the amount of thrombus that forms is decreased or totally prevented from forming in different animal models. We believe that this is due to the influence of selectins on microparticle formation. Microparticles are fragments that are procoagulant by virtue of tissue factor and other membrane surface phenomenon. Currently in the laboratory we are investigating the role of microparticles in thrombosis. We work on oral compounds for inhibiting P-selectin that could be used in place of anticoagulants for venous thrombosis prophylaxis and treatment and we are investigating new biomarkers for the diagnosis of clinical DVT.

We have a second effort looking at the role of plasminigine activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) in venous thrombosis. The role of PAI-1 in venous thrombosis is an emerging topic of great interest in the field of venous thrombosis. With this work, we are studying thrombogenesis, vein wall/thrombus inflammation, the production of procoagulant microparticles and thrombus/vein wall fibrosis. Again, the goal of this work is to establish new prophylactic and treatment strategies for venous thrombosis.

We collaborate actively with many laboratories both in and outside of surgery. 


Dr. Wakefield has been the head of the Vascular Surgery service at the University of Michigan since 2004. He is an honors graduate of the University of Toledo and received his MD from the Medical College of Ohio in 1978. He completed his general surgery residency at the University of Michigan in 1984, completed a vascular surgery fellowship at the University of Michigan in 1986, and is presently the Stanely Professor, Head, Section of Vacular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan. He presently is board-certified in general vascular surgery and general surgery. He is past-president of the American Venous Forum, Michigan Vascular Society,and the Frederick A Coller Surgical Society. His clinical interests include a special emphasis on venous disease and coagulation issues. He enjoys his family, is an avid basketball player, a runner, and a true sports fan.