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Approved Research

Biochemical and genetic architecture of transfusion and transplantation

Principal Investigator: Dr Mikko Arvas
Approved Research ID: 74245
Approval date: September 8th 2021

Lay summary

Blood transfusion is a common treatment for blood loss in severe trauma and elective surgery. Organ transplantations are required to replace failed organs while hematopoietic stem cell transplantation replaces the recipient's immune system. All of these are lifesaving treatments and they can be commonly referred to as tissue transplantation. Tissue transplantation is costly as it requires advanced infrastructure to guarantee the safety of both tissue donors and recipients. Tissue transplantation is also ethically complex as it depends on living or deceased volunteer donors. Hence, ensuring and improving efficacy of tissue transplantation has a large societal impact.

Population scale biochemical and genetic data from projects such as UKBB and FinnGen allows for unprecedented deciphering of biochemical and immunogenetic architecture of tissue transplantation. What is the impact of genetics on who is most likely to benefit from a transplantation or suffer adverse effects from donating tissues? Can available blood assay data provide us with biomarkers or mechanistic insight for the above topics? Genetic tissue matching has been used for decades improve success of tissue transplantation, but how does the variation outside conventional blood group and histocompatibility genes impact on success of tissue transplantation? What are the genetic factors behind immune-related traits? Our project will bring light to these crucial topics during the next 3 years by combining genetic and clinical data over several different condition-specific smaller cohorts to UKBB and FinnGen projects population scale data.