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Approved research

Quantification of Variation in Blood

Principal Investigator: Professor David Williams
Approved Research ID: 4047
Approval date: June 3rd 2014

Lay summary

The aim of this project is to investigate how donor characteristics influence the properties of their blood. Hematopoietic progenitor cells, stem cells derived from blood/bone marrow, are used therapeutically to treat blood cancer by rescuing or replacing the stem cells of the patient. They are isolated using centrifugation, a process that separates blood into three gradients according to density, one of which ? the ?buffy coat? ? contains stem cells. Human beings are inherently variable due to biological, physical and social parameters, and this will affect the physical composition of the blood, and the process required to separate out specific components. Due to it's size, UK Biobank has sufficient breadth of participant and blood-based characteristics to provide statistical confidence in any associations found. A greater understanding of the interaction between donor and donation will inform our understanding of how blood fractionates, which in turn would improve isolation techniques for therapeutic application of blood products. Additionally this will act as a blood-based case study that will inform work on future cellular therapies. The aims of this research is to retrospectively examine and analyse the baseline statistical data from the full cohort of UK Biobank to firstly quantify the variation of certain donor and blood metrics in the population, and secondly to determine relationships between donor metrics and the properties of their blood. This will enable us to understand the variation in the specific blood components used for cellular therapies and how donor characteristics affect these components. Baseline statistical data from the full cohort of UK Biobank.