Dr. Geraldine Walsh

Dr. Geraldine Walsh is a scientific writer with the Canadian Blood Services’ Centre for Innovation. A PhD scientist with a passion for communication, Geraldine supports Canadian Blood Services’ research and development scientists with writing, editing and preparing manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Geraldine was captivated by the fascinating topic of blood during her graduate studies at The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (in Dublin, her hometown). During her PhD, she studied blood platelets, the little cell fragments that maintain the delicate balance between clotting and bleeding in our bodies. Today, her role as scientific writer allows her to combine a love of science with a love of writing and a real dedication to quality science communication.

Stories worth sharing: Blood clotting factor or clot buster?


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Brought to you in partnership with the Centre for Blood Research, this week's Stories worth sharing is focused on research into a new class of anticoagulants.

Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, are medicines used to treat patients who experience unwanted or excess blood clotting. Between clotting and bleeding, there exists a delicate balance. If blood cannot clot effectively, the risk of bleeding increases. If blood clots too easily, there is a risk of heart attack, stroke and other serious conditions. 

Recent research being undertaken in Dr. Ed Pryzdial’s laboratory at the University of British Columbia is studying how some of these newer drugs affect the balance between clotting and bleeding.  The anticoagulants being studied are known to specifically target and inhibit a clotting factor called Factor Xa, as well as to decrease the formation of blood clots. 

While Factor Xa’s role in forming clots is well-known, its role in busting clots is much less well-established. In the Pryzdial laboratory they’ve found an additional way in which these drugs may help patients with too much clotting, by enhancing “clot-busting”. The process of clot busting (i.e., dissolving a clot once bleeding has been stopped), is an important way of managing clotting and associated risks. This work sheds light on how factor Xa will enhance clot busting—knowledge, which could be used to design more effective anticoagulant drugs in the future.

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Stories

Dr. Pryzdial is a Canadian Blood Services scientist and associate director of the Centre for Blood Research at the University of British Columbia. To learn more, read the original blog post by Tseday Tegegn, a PhD student in the Pryzdial Laboratory on the Centre for Blood Research website.


The Centre for Innovation is proud to partner with the Centre for Blood Research to deliver training and education events and support trainees.

Winning science research writers announced


Friday, April 05, 2019

To give our research trainees an opportunity to showcase their research, while honing their writing skills, Canadian Blood Services teamed-up with Science Borealis and the Centre for Blood Research, to launch our first-ever Lay Science Writing Competition.


“It’s important for researchers to be able to explain what they do in an engaging and understandable manner to those who don’t work in research. This competition is a great opportunity for trainees to hone their skills in public science communication.”

Dr. Dana Devine

Canadian Blood Services Chief Scientist


Whether it was the chance to be published or the prizes, many trainees responded to the challenge, submitting entries that reflect a breadth of research in blood, plasma, stem cells, and organs and tissues. Within the competition theme of “Research that matters”, each entry was to describe the impact of their individual or lab’s research on the transfusion and transplantation system and/or on our society. A jury of professional communicators and scientists was given the challenging task of reviewing and judging the submissions on their writing and storytelling merits, assigning a ranking and selecting the top 3 science research writers.

…and the winners of the 2019 Lay Science Writing Competition are:

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Winners Lay Science Writing Competition 2019

Our sincere congratulations to all!


“The competition provided an excellent opportunity to further develop my communication skills and expand the reach and impact of my research.”

Dr. Jennie Haw,

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Jennie Haw

1st prize winner, CIHR Health Systems Impact fellow and Canadian Blood Services researcher: Dr. Jennie Haw


Over the coming weeks, we’ll share each of the prize-winning entries on the R.E.D blog, so watch this space to learn more about these budding writers and their research.

The 2018 Canadian Blood Services Lay Science Writing Competition was organized by the Canadian Blood Services’ Centre for Innovation with welcome support from Science Borealis and the Centre for Blood Research at the University of British Columbia.


50 ways to learn more about Centre for Innovation supported research


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Nothing in science has any value to society if it is not communicated

Anne Roe, The Making of a Scientist (1953)


Much of the work supported by the Centre for Innovation is published as articles in scientific and medical journals. These journal articles are designed to be read and understood by other experts, so it can be challenging for anyone who is not familiar with the subject to glean valuable information. To bridge this gap and help make our research findings more accessible, the “Research Units” were developed.

How do Research Units help make the findings published in a scientific journal more accessible?

For a start Research Units are shorter. But they also provide a concise summary of the most important aspects of a study, asking: “What is this research about?”; “What did the researchers do?”; “What did the researchers find?”; and perhaps most importantly, “How can you use this research?”. Research Units provide details about the research team and information about the original journal article for the reader that wants to learn more. Scientific jargon, often a barrier to non-expert readers, is removed or clearly explained.

Fifty Research Units and counting

The first Research Unit was published in March 2013 and described a study by Centre for Innovation Engineer, Dr. John Blake, to understand how changes to blood manufacturing and distribution services would impact availability of blood products at hospitals. Dr. Blake’s work is also the subject of our 50th Research Unit, which was published just recently. This latest Research Unit, “One in a million: Modelling rare blood flow” describes a recent study with Canadian Blood Services associate medical director, Dr. Gwen Clarke, to help meet the needs of Canadians with rare blood. Drs. Blake and Clarke analyzed supply and demand for rare blood types and used simulation modelling to understand how to optimize the blood operator’s inventory of rare blood types to meet demand. The study showed that keeping a modest inventory of frozen rare blood types, combined with increased screening of donors for rare blood types, provides the greatest chance of ensuring that Canadian patients with rare blood have access to red blood cell transfusions when they need them. To learn more, read the full Research Unit here.

 

Photo by Rupert Britton on Unsplash

Photo by Rupert Britton on Unsplash

A milestone and a makeover

To coincide with this milestone, we gave the downloadable (PDF) format of the Research Units a makeover! The new look Research Unit is clean, fresh and aligns with our renewed Canadian Blood Services brand.

Visit our Research Units page to explore the diversity of the Centre for Innovation's work, and discover which of the 50 summaries pique your interest.

Pathogen Inactivation – A Primer


Friday, March 08, 2019

Tackling the gaps in blood safety

Canadian Blood Services is committed to blood safety because lives depend on it. To reduce the risk of infectious disease transmission from donor to patient, donors are extensively screened for risk factors prior to their donation. Every blood donation is tested for specific infectious disease agents (pathogens) known to be transmissible through blood. These are just some of the many measures Canadian Blood Services employ to keep the blood supply safe.

Despite these safeguards, the risk of infectious disease transmission, though very low, remains. Testing for infectious disease agents is very effective, although even the most sophisticated tests have detection limits. However, the main risks come from unknown agents, for which there are no tests, or from unanticipated infectious agents for which tests are not performed, or from bacterial contamination of platelet components, for which there are tests, but they are imperfect. These testing limitations are currently managed by the multiple layers of safeguards built into the system, but gaps remain. Pathogen inactivation technologies could help to tackle those gaps and make the blood supply even safer.

What are pathogen inactivation technologies?

Pathogen inactivation technologies offer broad-spectrum treatment against potential pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites) within blood and blood products. These technologies target and damage nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) in pathogens using ultraviolet (UV) light. DNA and RNA contain genetic information, and when a pathogen’s DNA or RNA is damaged, it prevents the pathogen from reproducing. This effectively destroys a pathogen’s ability to cause illness. As pathogen inactivation treatment attacks all nucleic acids, including those in residual white blood cells found in blood products, it may remove the need for additional treatments of blood products (e.g. irradiation) that are required for certain patient populations.

Altering the blood safety paradigm

Pathogen inactivation technologies potentially fill in the gaps in current blood safety approaches. Rather than focusing on the detection of specific, known pathogens, these technologies focus on inactivating any pathogens that may be present in a blood product. These technologies add a new layer of safety against emerging or unknown pathogens. Pathogen inactivation is often called a paradigm-altering approach because it is a pro-active rather than a re-active approach to blood safety.

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image used in pathogen inactivation primer, part 1 in R.E.D. blog series

Image - The pathogen inactivation process

What pathogen inactivation technologies are available in Canada?

Several technologies have been or are being developed by three major biomedical companies, with some currently being used by blood operators in other countries. However, before a pathogen inactivation technology can be sold in Canada, and used by Canadian Blood Services, it must be licensed by Health Canada. This process takes time.

In 2018, the INTERCEPT technology, sold by Cerus Corporation to treat platelet and plasma components was licensed in Canada. At the time of this blog post, TerumoBCT is in discussions with Health Canada on securing approval for its Mirasol Pathogen Reduction Technology (PRT) in Canada. The THERAFLEX technology, developed by Macopharma for use on platelets and plasma components, is still in development and clinical trial stage.

There is also Octaplas, from OctaPharma, which is a pathogen inactivated plasma product made from large numbers of plasma donations treated with a solvent-detergent process. This was approved by Health Canada in 2005 and Canadian Blood Services currently purchases Octaplas and makes it available for prescribers to order for clinical use. However, rather than being a pathogen inactivation technology that can be used by blood operators in their manufacturing processes, this is a commercially-produced plasma product.

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table used in pathogen inactivation primer, part 1 in R.E.D. blog series

What is Canadian Blood Services doing to prepare for pathogen inactivation technologies in Canada?

Canadian Blood Services has been studying and evaluating pathogen inactivation technologies for some years. In 2007, we held a consensus conference about pathogen inactivation technologies, which at that time were starting to be used in some European countries. More recently, through our Centre for Innovation we have been working to understand how these technologies would work in our manufacturing system, and how they would impact the quality of our blood products and ultimately patient safety. These studies help us to get acquainted with the technologies and their pros and cons before deciding which approach would be best for our system and Canadian patients.

What have we learnt so far?

The results of our studies are in alignment with what is known about pathogen inactivation technologies; overall pathogen inactivation would lead to safer products, but there are some drawbacks. Pathogen inactivation technologies have negative effects on the quality of the treated blood products. However, clinical studies indicate that the negative impact on quality can be managed, and there is evidence that the benefit in terms of reducing any residual risk from pathogens outweighs these negative impacts.

What’s next for pathogen inactivation technologies at Canadian Blood Services?

Research to understand the impact of these technologies on Canadian Blood Services processes and product quality is continuing. The work of the Centre for Innovation will help ensure that pathogen inactivation, or any other new technologies we consider implementing, will bring benefit and allow us to continue to meet the needs of Canadian patients.

Learn more:

Hemostatic efficacy of pathogen-inactivated vs untreated platelets: a randomized controlled trial.

van der Meer PF, Ypma PF, van Geloven N, van Hilten JA, van Wordragen-Vlaswinkel RJ, Eissen O, Zwaginga JJ, Trus M, Beckers EAM, Te Boekhorst P, Tinmouth A, Lin Y, Hsia C, Lee D, Norris PJ, Goodrich RP, Brand A, Hervig T, Heddle NM, van der Bom JG, Kerkhoffs JH.
Blood. 2018 Jul 12;132(2):223-231.

Pathogen Inactivation Strategies to Improve Blood Safety: Let's Not Throw Pathogen-Reduced Platelets Out With Their Bath Water.

Devine DV.

JAMA Oncol. 2018 Apr 1;4(4):458-459.

Implementation of pathogen inactivation technology: how to make the best decisions?

Devine DV.

Transfusion. 2017 May;57(5):1109-1111. doi: 10.1111/trf.14117. No abstract available.

Pathogen Inactivation Technologies: The Advent of Pathogen-Reduced Blood Components to Reduce Blood Safety Risk.

Devine DV, Schubert P.

Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2016 Jun;30(3):609-17. doi: 10.1016/j.hoc.2016.01.005. Review.

Click here for more recent publications from the Centre for Innovation on this topic.

 


Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation

Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact

The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.

Research Unit: Modelling risk to ensure safety when considering changes to blood testing


Thursday, February 28, 2019

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Sample 2

At Canadian Blood Services, blood safety is paramount. Screening donors for infectious diseases is an important part of our multi-layered approach to blood safety. One such infectious agent that is known to be transmitted through blood transfusion is Human T-cell lymphotropic viruses (or HTLV). Since 1990, all blood donations in Canada have been tested for HTLV, and since then, there have been no identified cases of HTLV transmission by transfusion. The rate of HTLV in Canadian blood donors has not changed in over 20 years of monitoring, and most donations that test positive for HTLV are from first-time donors.

Changes to our blood product manufacturing processes since the 1990s means there may be limited benefit to continuing to test all donations for HTLV. This month’s Research Unit describes a collaborative effort by researchers from the Canadian Blood Services Centre for Innovation and Héma Québec. The researchers wished to understand how the risk of transfusion-transmission of HTLV would change if the screening were modified from the current approach, in which all donations are tested for HTLV, to an alternative approach in which only first-time donors are tested for HTLV. To do this, they used a simulation/modelling study. This modeling study suggests that moving from testing all donations for the virus HTLV, to testing only first-time donors, would have a negligible impact on risk to recipients.

To learn more, read our Research unit here.

Research Units provide clear summaries of the results and impacts of research conducted at Canadian Blood Services. Written by Canadian Blood Services researchers in collaboration with the knowledge mobilization team, these summaries help disseminate research findings to facilitate informed decision-making.


Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation

Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact

The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.

D is also for Development!


Friday, February 22, 2019

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2PD

Welcome to our new R.E.D. blog series where we focus on our Centre for Innovation development projects to give you a glimpse into the future of blood banking... our future!

At Canadian Blood Services, we continuously strive to improve our products and the processes we use to manufacture them. Ensuring we provide quality products that meet the needs of Canadian patients, while being good stewards of Canadian health care dollars is core to our mission. One of the players supporting us in this mission is the Centre for Innovation’s Product and Process Development (or 2PD) group.

The 2PD group acts as a bridge between an idea and its implementation, bringing together expertise in fields such as science, engineering, nursing and medical lab technology along with decades of hands-on collection, production, and testing experience. They explore ideas that will lead to change in the products Canadian Blood Services supplies to support patient care, and the technologies and processes we use in our facilities across Canada to produce these products.  

For example, have you ever wondered how Canadian Blood Services evaluates and chooses new equipment for blood product manufacturing? Where we test new technologies and manufacturing processes? What new products may be coming to improve care for Canadian patients? How we reduce the cost of producing our products for the Canadian taxpayer? The 2PD group plays a role in all of these, leveraging the Centre for Innovation development laboratories in Ottawa and Vancouver (the latter often referred to as the netCAD Blood4Research Facility).  

The role of the 2PD group is essentially to generate data about our products and the processes used to manufacture them, providing evidence to help make informed decisions, seek regulatory approvals and confidently and successfully implement change. 

So, what kinds of technologies and manufacturing processes might we be using in five years? What will our blood products inventory of the future look like? In this blog series, we’ll give you insight into the work of the 2PD group, their collaborations with supply chain and other divisions, and a glimpse into the exciting future of blood banking here at Canadian Blood Services.

Stories worth Sharing: Highlights from our partners: Thrombomodulin: Old protein with new functions and hope


Friday, February 08, 2019

This week, we highlight work from one of our partners, the Centre for Blood Research. Wayne Zhao describes a review by Dr. Ed Conway, Centre for Blood Research director and adjunct scientist at the Centre for Innovation. This review describes the many roles of thrombomodulin, a protein involved in blood coagulation.

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Stories Icon Main

Wayne is a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Dana Devine at the Centre for Blood Research and a recipient of a Canadian Blood Services Graduate Fellowship.

Thrombomodulin is a fascinating protein. It was initially recognized for its role in blood clotting (coagulation) and hemostasis. Thrombomodulin modulates thrombin (hence the name!). Thrombin is a key player in the final steps of clot formation to stop bleeding. Thrombin converts soluble fibrinogen to insoluble fibrin, which is a major component of blood clots. Thrombomodulin reduces blood coagulation by acting as a cofactor for the thrombin-mediated formation of activated protein C, an enzyme that suppresses rather than promotes clotting.

In their review, Dr. Conway and Dr. Houra Loghmani, a postdoctoral fellow in his laboratory, illustrate that thrombomodulin has many more roles beyond this traditional role in hemostasis. Studies over the past several decades have shown that thrombomodulin integrates many crucial biological processes and biochemical pathways. From coagulation to immunity, from inflammation to cell proliferation, thrombomodulin plays protective roles. Understanding thrombomodulin and its many roles could help advance our understanding of several diseases. To learn more, read Wayne’s blog post on the Centre for Blood Research site.

The Centre for Innovation is proud to partner with the Centre for Blood Research to deliver training and education events and support trainees.


Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation

Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact

The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.

Research Unit: What's in a bag of plasma?


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Our latest Centre for Innovation Research Unit examines what’s in a bag of plasma. Plasma can be separated from a whole blood donation (called recovered plasma), or obtained by apheresis donation (called source plasma). Usually, recovered plasma is used for transfusion, and source plasma is sent for fractionation into plasma-derived drugs.

In this study, Dr. William Sheffield and Craig Jenkins from the Centre for Innovation tested levels and activities of important plasma factors for coagulation in recovered plasma. They also measured levels of immunoglobulin, from which the plasma-derived drug intravenous immune globulins (IVIg) is made. They found that the way in which plasma is manufactured from whole blood impacts the composition of recovered plasma; recovered plasma contains more immunoglobulin when the time between blood donation and manufacturing into plasma is shorter.

Many plasma-derived drugs, including IVIg and coagulation factors, are essential, life-saving treatments. The steady increase in use of these drugs, in particular IVIg, is putting pressure on supply.  While source plasma remains the major source of plasma for fractionation, this study provides valuable information on what’s in a bag of recovered plasma produced by Canadian Blood Services, and how manufacturing methods may impact yields of plasma-derived drugs.

To learn more, read our Research Unit here.

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Research unit

Research Units provide clear summaries of the results and impacts of research conducted at Canadian Blood Services. Written by Canadian Blood Services researchers in collaboration with the knowledge mobilization team, these summaries help disseminate research findings to facilitate informed decision-making.


Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation

Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact

The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.

Annual progress report highlights the Centre for Innovation’s impactful research, development, education and training


Thursday, January 10, 2019

#WeDoResearch! Through our Centre for Innovation, our engaged network of scientists, medical experts, partners, and collaborators conduct and disseminate high quality, impactful research for the benefit of Canadian patients and the Canadian healthcare system.   

The Centre for Innovation’s goal is to drive innovation to improve the blood system by facilitating the creation, translation, and application of new knowledge to support a safe, effective, and responsive system of blood and related biological products for Canada. 

The last year was an outstanding one for the Centre for Innovation team. Their achievements and accomplishments are highlighted in the 2017-2018 Centre for Innovation Progress Report, which comprehensively catalogues the Centre’s research, development, training, and education outputs and outcomes over the past year.  

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C4I prog report

2017-18 Research highlights

Platelet shelf life extension - The Centre provided scientific knowledge and evidence to support Canadian Blood Services’ successful transition from a five-day to a seven-day shelf life for platelets.  

Product and process development - The Centre provided expertise to support the implementation of new equipment for blood component production. The evidence we provided helped the organization select new equipment while being confident of the continued quality of our products.  

Paradigm-altering discovery research -  We published several impactful studies on intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) and the immune disorders they treat. We also identified several potential IVIg replacement drugs that may reduce the burden on IVIg supply and improve patient outcomes. 

MSM Research Grant Program - In partnership with Héma-Québec, we initiated funding for research projects with the goal to evolve the current eligibility criteria for men who have sex with men (MSM).  

These and the many other successes highlighted in the annual progress report are achieved with funding from Health Canada, the provincial and territorial ministries of health, and other partners. Canadian Blood Services also benefits from and is grateful for the generosity of the blood donors who contribute to our research.  

As a result of the work of the Centre for Innovation, Canadian Blood Services, along with the broader healthcare system, is better positioned to address emerging medical and scientific trends, risks, opportunities, and technologies, and to lead change for the benefit of Canadian donors and patients. 

We are looking forward to seeing what exciting research progress 2019 will bring! 

Read the 2017-18 Centre for Innovation Annual Progress Report here


Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation

Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact

The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.

Meet the Researcher: Dr. Mel Krajden


Thursday, December 20, 2018

This week, we chatted with Canadian Blood Services’ adjunct scientist, Dr. Mel Krajden, about his research work at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and his role as a Canadian Blood Services adjunct scientist.

Where do you work and what is your role?

I am the Medical Director of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory (BCCDC PHL) and I have a special interest in hepatitis and viral detection methods as well as in health services policy.

Tell us about your area of research.

My laboratory research uses molecular techniques to: diagnose viruses; assess the correlation between infection and clinical disease; monitor the effectiveness of antivirals; and track microbial infections to understand their epidemiology, including how microbial infections spread.

My clinical research involves integrating prevention and care services for hepatitis. Specifically, we are using molecular epidemiology/phylogenetics – the study of how viruses spread and how strains of viruses are related – to understand transmission of hepatitis. We are also using “big data” to help understand how to measure population-level health outcomes and inform policy making to improve health.

I also have extensive clinical trials expertise and have served as a laboratory coordinator for a number of industry sponsored clinical trials.

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In late 2018, Dr. Krajden was the Chair of the Review Panel convened to review proposals submitted to the second round of funding through the MSM Research Grant Program. Learn more about this unique research program, the projects it supports, and recent progress towards achieving the Program’s goal of generating adequate evidence to evolve the current eligibility criteria for men who have sex with men.

What expertise/knowledge/experience led you to becoming a Canadian Blood Services adjunct scientist?

I have been a member of the Canadian Blood Services Scientific and Research Advisory Committee (SRAC) since its creation, and provide a public health perspective on communicable disease conditions.

As part of my role on the SRAC, I have been requested to provide input on transmissible agents such as hepatitis E virus and its implications to transfusion.

I have also been involved in the complex and controversial reviews of deferral periods for men who have sex with men (MSM) and Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Queer (LBGTQ) communities over the past few decades.

How does being a Canadian Blood Services adjunct scientist influence your work?

I have been a Canadian Blood Services adjunct scientist for about two decades! Earlier, I was directly involved in bloodborne transmission research. I used molecular epidemiology to help Canadian Blood Services identify the source of infection when nucleic acid testing (NAT) first identified a positive test result for hepatitis C virus in a blood donation. Now times and technology have changed. My role with Canadian Blood Services is largely advisory, while my own research supports the generic use of microbial phylogenetics to understand transmission dynamics. We are also working to understand how “big data” can be used to understand population health and drive policy.

What are you working on now?  

Our team is working on processes to integrate de-identified genomics data with population-level administrative data. Our goal is to understand how to optimize health services delivery design and use big data to drive health policy.

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"Science and medicine is like an addiction; for every answer, there are tons of questions to solve every day." - Dr. Mel Krajden, B.C. Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory

What inspires you?  

Realizing how little I know.

What do you find most exciting about your work?

Trying not to accept no as an answer.

What work are you most proud of?

Our integrated hepatitis data cohort of 1.7 million British Columbians.

When you’re not in the lab where could we find you?  

Skiing, cycling or hiking.

 


Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation

Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact

The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.

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