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 2019, we spent a total of 3.3 million euros on research, approximately half of which was covered by external funding. In 2019, Blood Service research staff published 26 peer-reviewed scientific publications. We had 11 PhD-level researchers.
A significant new initiative and resource for our research was a three-year grant from Business Finland for our project to study whether blood cell-derived vesicles, i.e. microvesicles, can be used in drug transportation in the treatment of severe disorders of the central nervous system. 13 Finnish partners are participating in the research consortium led by the Blood Service.
Our biobank has established its activities and is one of the key actors in research. The biobank has already recruited all of the blood donor samples needed; the goal was 50,000 samples. The biobank’s main client is the large-scale national FinnGen research project, for which over 30,000 samples have been supplied. The FinnGen project aims at gaining a comprehensive understanding of the hereditary background of diseases, particularly in the Finnish population by collecting 500,000 samples. Our researchers are helping to analyse the results, and the project findings will also be utilised in our own research.