Professor Andrew Bradley, Head of Department, has secured NIHR funding to establish one of four Blood and Transplant Research Units in a £15.1 million partnership between University researchers and NHS Blood and Transplant, which began in October 2015.
Together with Professor Andrew Fisher from Newcastle University, Prof Bradley is establishing a unit centred on organ donation and transplantation. The Cambridge/Newcastle unit is focusing on understanding how to improve the quality of donor organs prior to transplantation and will develop and evaluate novel approaches and technologies that increase the availability of suitable donor organs for transplantation, while improving graft survival.
“Blood and transplantation research is vital to improving the quality, safety and availability of donation and transplantation” – Professor Andrew Bradley
Cambridge University has received funding for two units under the scheme, to be based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Professor John Danesh from the Cambridge Institute of Public Health will lead a second unit, focusing on donor health and genomics, a new area of research for NHS Blood and Transplant. The Unit will address major questions about the health of blood donors and produce evidence-based strategies to enhance donor safety while ensuring sustainability of blood supply.
A third unit is due to open at UCL (University College London), led by Dr Karl Peggs and focused on Stem Cells and Immunotherapies. The fourth unit at the University of Bristol studies the development of new red blood cell products to support the transfusion needs of patients with rare blood groups and those with complex and life-limiting conditions. Its Director is Professor Dave Anstee.
The Units will be centres of excellence in human experimental medicine related to blood and transplantation and will have a strong focus on translation. They will support the delivery of objectives and functions of NHS Blood and Transplant, by creating an environment where world-class research, focused on the organisation’s needs, can thrive, and will provide high quality research evidence to inform decision making at NHS Blood and Transplant.