Grants awarded

Unravelling key regulators of thrombopoiesis using novel RNA-based clonal and molecular approachesĀ 

Grantholder:

Dr Edyta Wojtowicz

Earlham Institute

United Kingdom

Platelets are small but important blood cells: they stop bleeding at sites of injury, and counter infections by providing a physical barrier to the outside world. People with cancer frequently have lower platelet levels due to the side-effects of chemotherapy. Low platelet levels are also seen in older people. The result is a potentially life-threatening increase in infections and bleeding problems. Our most effective treatment for this condition is transfusion with donor platelets, but this procedure is risky and some patients respond poorly.

My research will improve our understanding of the cells that normally produce platelets, with the goal to increase platelet production. I will use a novel tracking system allowing me to characterise the cells that give rise to platelets.

The results from this study will allow us to identify drugs that can efficiently stimulate platelet production, first in cells grown in the lab and ultimately directly in patients.