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New funding for blood stem cells

20 May 2019

blood cells

Over £520,000 has been awarded to help fund world-leading blood stem cell research, which will have a long-lasting impact on bone marrow transplantation and blood transfusion.

Dr Fernando Anjos-Afonso, Research Fellow at Cardiff University’s European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, has been awarded a grant of £524,000 from the BSSRC to fund his research, which focuses on blood stem cells.

The funding will support vital research, aiming to understand the processes of blood cell formation, with real impact on those facing blood cancers and other blood disorders associated with ageing.

Dr Anjos-Afonso said: “The process of blood formation still has many unanswered questions. Blood has incredibly important responsibilities that are key to survival, including supplying oxygen and nutrients to tissues and protecting the body from infection.

“To complete these complex functions, most components are constantly being replaced, making it one of the most regenerated tissues in the body - with approximately one trillion cells arising daily, forming from our bone marrow.

“To maintain this huge production of cells, blood cells are highly organised, but little is understood about this organisation process in humans.”

This funding will support research that will build upon Dr Anjos-Afonso’s previous discoveries, funded by the Hodge Foundation, which have transformed the field of blood cancer research.

“Bone marrow transplantations and blood transfusions have wide therapeutic applications.

“By understanding how new blood cells are made from blood stem cells, and by investigating the events that occur after bone marrow transplantation and blood transfusions, we will be able to uncover information that will be vital in creating strategies to improve these crucial therapeutic applications.

“We believe that this research will have a far-reaching impact in clinics and for patients,” added Dr Anjos-Afonso.

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