The Blood Service’s scientific research is guided by the goals specified in the research strategy:
• Biobank activities and research related to genomic data to promote research into blood donation-related health and public health
• Studying red blood cells and thrombocytes to ensure the safe use of blood products
• Research concerning blood, cell and tissue transplant compatibility to create a unified scientific basis for Blood Service laboratory activities
• Research into new cell therapies to support their introduction in practice.
In 2018, we spent slightly over 3 million euros on research, 57% of which was covered by external funding. In December, there were 16 PhD level researchers and 10 pre-doctoral research employees working in Blood Service research.
The blood donor biobank got off the ground very well. We utilised genomic data on tissue compatibility as well as bioinformatics tools to find new factors determining tissue compatibility in cell and tissue transplantations. Among other things, we were able to show that it is possible to predict post-stem cell transplant disease recurrence based on the patient’s genomic data and machine learning. Another project opening up new possibilities is the study, in conjunction with UPM, of the effects of blood cell-based lysate and nanocellulose on wound healing.