Extending the reach of research one ResearchUnit at a time

Wednesday, August 02, 2017 Jenny Ryan

ResearchUnits are lay summaries of published research prepared by our colleagues at Canadian Blood Services' Centre for Innovation. They're simple and purposeful tools that report on project outcomes and research conducted by our investigators. 


Poster stating Research Unit

Since 2013, 36 ResearchUnits have been published presenting research summaries on a variety of topics related to clincial research, product and process development, blood safety, transfusion practice, and more. They can be found the Our Research Impact section of blood.ca and are published at the rate of about one per month.

The latest ResearchUnit has just been published, an excerpt follows. 

Research Unit #36
An immune cell secretion may protect patients from transfusion-related lung injury 

Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is the leading cause of transfusion-related death. This rare but serious transfusion reaction is characterized by severe respiratory distress within six hours of receiving a transfusion. Currently, there are no treatments available other than supportive care (oxygen and lung ventilation).

The causes of TRALI remain poorly understood; however, researchers believe that human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies from the donor are frequently involved. To explain why this reaction is triggered in some patients, a two-hit model has been proposed. In this model, two events must occur before TRALI can develop: the transfused blood product must contain problematic antibodies and the recipient must have predisposing risk factors. Researchers have identified several TRALI risk factors, including inflammation, chronic alcohol abuse and smoking. However, the detailed mechanisms of TRALI development remain unclear.

Recently, researchers funded by Canadian Blood Services at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto helped clarify how TRALI develops. The researchers used mouse models of TRALI to examine the importance of different immune cell types, particularly dendritic cells and T regulatory cells. T regulatory cells help prevent autoimmune problems by suppressing immune responses to the body’s own cells. Dendritic cells guide the immune system to respond appropriately to immune challenges...  


A monthly round up of research and education 

To stay up-to-date on news, publications, events and other updates related to Research and Professional Education at Canadian Blood Services, subscribe to our monthly Research and Education Round Up Newsletter


Research and Education Round Up - Subscribe



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.




Related blog posts

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Jenny Ryan

This post is based on the introduction to the report written by Dr. Dana Devine, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, and Judie Leach Bennett, Vice-President, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer. Evaluating value and impact The Centre for Innovation is the organization’s hub for research...

Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Dr. Kendra Hodgkinson

We are now accepting applications for the 2017 competition of our Intramural Research Grant program!