BRC funding has been used to establish a Translational Research Laboratory (TRL), to undertake sample processing, banking and analysis, and also to appoint a Clinical Senior Lecturer to oversee the TRL which is based in a designated laboratory in the NHSBT building adjacent to research laboratories and to the GMP facility.
The TRL team comprises four BRC-funded laboratory staff together with two part-time nurses dedicated to consenting and clinical database management.
The TRL's main role is to process and store a variety of purified cell populations from blood or bone marrow obtained from a wide range of haematological malignancies. It is closely associated with our Regional Haemato-oncology Diagnostic Service which attracts samples from throughout the Eastern Region.
Banked samples support multiple research programs in multiple university departments and neighbouring institutes such as the Sanger Institute and Babraham Institute. Sample banking is most advanced for the myeloproliferative program (1 Nature, 4 NEJM and 2 Lancet papers in the past 5 years) and is currently being extended to include myelodysplasia, myeloma, and acute myeloid leukaemia together with normal haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.
Samples representing several different cell types have been processed from over 900 patients in the past year. Research highlights over the past year include the unexpected demonstration that JAK2 functions in the nucleus as a histone kinase (Dawson et al Nature 2009), that bone marrow reticulin at diagnosis has important prognostic significance on myeloproliferative tumours (Campbell et al JCO 2009) and that a JAK2 haplotype predisposes to both MPL and JAK2 mutant myeloproliferative neoplasms (Jones et al Blood 2010).