Donald E. Brooks, a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, has won the inaugural 2013 Blood Safety Innovation Award from Terumo BCT, a Colorado-based maker of blood component and cellular technologies.
Dr. Brooks, who is also a Professor in the Department of Chemistry (Faculty of Science) and a member of the Centre for Blood Research, will work with Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu, an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, to develop a new biocompatible coating on blood storage bags that could prevent bacterial growth and extend the shelf-life of donated platelets.
The award is part of a program that supports one or more grants up to $100,000 to fund innovative science and research that will generate novel blood safety practices. The Blood Safety Innovation Award supports the investigation of novel scientific ideas, best practices, tools and standards for the advancement of blood safety.
“Platelets are very fragile, and also are vulnerable to contamination from the growth of common microbes that can be present in donors’ blood,” Dr. Brooks said. “We are creating a peptide and polymer layer for the plastic packaging that would protect platelets from collisions with the container wall, and simultaneously prevent bacterial proliferation. By doing this, we hope to extend the shelf life of donated platelets, and relieve one of the biggest burdens to maintaining adequate blood supplies.”
Dr. Brooks will publish the research results at the conclusion of the trial.
All decisions on funding are made by the Terumo BCT Grant Committee, which comprises four expert independent reviewers.
“It gives us great pleasure to make this award to Dr. Brooks and his research team,” said Ray Goodrich, Terumo BCT’s Vice Preisdent of Clinical and Scientific Affairs. “We were extremely pleased with the quality of proposals that were submitted by investigators. Dr. Brooks’ project represented one with significant potential to benefit patients requiring blood transfusion. His study represents exactly the type of research program that this award was intended to help support and we look forward to the initiation of his work under this grant.”