A family of researchers has received a grant from the Alberta Innovations Fund to continue to explore the effects blood donation and plasma donation have on patients.
It is hoped that testing the effects of the two types of donation on patients will help the team lead to an outcome that — like embryonic stem cell donation, for example — shows promise.
“We will know in embryo stem cell-specific terms the impact on patients over the following 15 to 20 years,” said Brian Polak, professor in the Department of Clinical Science in the College of Medicine and lead researcher of the project.
Much research has been done on embryonic stem cells, but the use of stem cells developed in the laboratory has not been as controlled and tested.
But possibly because (primarily lean) patients have no desire to return to the resting state and are willing to volunteer, the scientists said they are exploring the potential benefits of using these organs instead for transplantation.
“We think there is a subset [of kids] that are jumping to the conclusion that they do have the option to donate their organs and do want to use their organs and know we are using their organs for transplantation, all the way to 10 years down the line, we have this really high number of donors,” explained Polak who is also director of the clinical research site Justine’s Heart, which involves combatting heart failures.
Poppak said that bank-funded by the Innovations Fund, the $150,000,000 project will run two phases. One will successfully determine whether the two types of donation — egg and sperm — will deliver on their promise to ease suffering. The other phase will determine how often specific procedures receive a negative response, which will help researchers identify which procedures to skip.
In the end, the goal is to review the information available to stem cell transplantation and make a decision for patients, which ultimately could lead to success. It is this section of the project that Polak will concentrate on based on his research experience with heart failure treatment.