The Blood Service Research Fund provides support for the development of cell therapy treatments and blood use

This year, the Blood Service Research Fund has decided to award EUR 500,000 in grants to a total of 11 research projects.

This year’s grants were allocated especially to scientific research related to the use of blood products and blood donation. As in previous years, grants were also awarded for the development of cell therapy treatments.

The Research Fund of the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service (FRCBS) awards grants to scientific research that supports the implementation of the Blood Service’s research strategy on the research and development of the Blood Service’s current and future products and services.

Slightly more than half of this year’s research funding will be allocated to the development of new cell therapies in Finland – most of which is related to harnessing the cells in the human immune system to treat various cancers. Another main area of research comprises projects on blood donation, blood use, and blood donors.

The largest single grant of EUR 90,000, was awarded to Docent Miika Koskinen’s working group studying blood use at HUS. Producing more accurate information on the uses and quantities of blood products in hospitals increases our understanding of the entire blood supply chain and helps to anticipate development trends.

Funding was also granted to Sanna Susila, Licentiate of Medicine, for a doctoral dissertation project studying the use of whole blood in blood transfusions. Whole blood is a useful option, particularly in exceptional circumstances, where it may be difficult to arrange blood components that are currently divided into different blood products.

Rodos Rodosthenous from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM received funding for research investigating the mechanisms of a specific genetic variant that has become more common in Finland and increases the risk of anaemia. Carriers of this rare form of the gene are at an increased risk of iron deficiency, for example through regular blood donations.

A project carried out by a research group led by Professor Jyrki Vuola at Jorvi Hospital supports the key role of the Blood Service’s Cell Production Centre in developing new cell therapies. The research focuses on the use of cell therapy preparations in the treatment of severe burns.

The Blood Service Research Fund began operations in 2021 and has since allocated approximately EUR 1.5 million to scientific research.

“Once again, we received many good applications this year, and we are happy that our research grant fund is able to support a wide range of research projects of different sizes. More extensive research into blood donation will continue to be important,” says Research Director, Professor Jukka Partanen from the Blood Service.

Grants awarded in 2023:

Projects related to blood donation, blood use and blood donors:

  • Karregat, Jan: Research visit to the Blood Service’s Research and Development Department relating to blood use research. Dissertation work. €20,000
  • Susila, Sanna: Study of the properties of whole blood products. Dissertation work. €20,000
  • Koskinen, Miika: Blood use research at HUS. €90,000
  • Rodosthenous, Rodos: Research on a genetic variant related to iron deficiency that has become more common in Finland. €70,000

Other research projects:

  • Marttila, Heli: Methods of cleaning the extracellular membrane vesicles of the blood. Dissertation work. €20,000
  • Peltonen, Karita: The use of blood TIL lymphocytes in the treatment of cancer. €49,000
  • Vuola, Jyrki: Study of cell therapy in burn patients. €40,000
  • Fric, Jan: Researcher exchange in the field of cell therapy between the Blood Service and Czechia. €30,000
  • Ojala, Päivi and Leppä, Sirpa: Development of CAR T cell therapy. €40,000
  • Sarparanta, Mirkka: CART cell therapy imaging with PET technology. €40,000
  • Wang, Shiqi: Increasing the therapeutic efficacy of T-cells. €79,750
Last modified: 12.09.2023