Research into the Causes of Clonal Blood Cell Disorders
Dr Peter Campbell
Institution or company
Our study aims to improve our understanding of how ageing affects blood stem cells and the cells of the immune system they produce. Blood stem cells live in the bone marrow and produce 10 mature blood cells each day, including red blood cells that carry oxygen round the body, and white blood cells that play a major role in fighting infection. A small number of these stem cells also circulate in the blood.
We will isolate several hundred single blood cells from blood samples of volunteers of different ages and stimulate these cells to grow into colonies. We can then use new sequencing techniques to identify molecular marks and changes acquired by each original cell lineage over the lifetime of the person the cell came from. This information can be used to answer a number of interesting questions about ageing.
Ageing results in impaired functioning of the immune system and increases the risk of developing a range of blood disorders, including leukaemia. It is hoped that the knowledge we gain from this study will increase our understanding of the link between ageing and blood and immune disorders.