GoSHARE is after your blood - help world-leading research in Tayside

    Press/Media: Research


    Every day in Tayside around 7000 samples of blood are discarded after use. Now researchers are asking the public to let them use that blood to boost world-leading research into diseases such as cancer, diabetes and asthma.

    The GoSHARE project launched by the University of Dundee, in partnership with NHS Tayside, is pioneering an easy way for people to help the fight against disease. It only takes one minute to sign up to GoSHARE but the benefits may be felt for generations to come, say researchers.

    People can sign up at www.goshare.org.uk or complete FREEPOST brochures that will be widely distributed throughout Tayside including GP surgeries and pharmacies.

    'Every day people are giving blood samples for testing at their doctor or in hospital but from each sample there is some blood left over,' said Colin Palmer, Professor of Pharmacogenomics at the University of Dundee. 'What we are asking people in Tayside is that they give us permission to use this blood for research. Over the past 15 years around 10% of the Tayside population (40,000 people) have signed up to genetic studies and this has resulted directly in major discoveries of genetic variants for eczema, asthma, diabetes and heart disease amongst others.

    'All people need to do is register online or give us written permission. It literally takes a minute and they do not need to do anything else - there is no need for a special sample of blood to be taken and they do not need to make a visit to their doctor. All the samples which we are given access to will be made anonymous using a barcode system.

    Dr Ellie Dow, Consultant in the Department of Blood Sciences at NHS Tayside, said, 'Recent investment in cutting edge laboratory automation in Tayside has allowed us to not only provide a top quality clinical service, but also allows us to make best use of blood from clinical tests for research. This will greatly accelerate the pace of medical research in the future, but we need the permission from everybody in Tayside to make this work.

    'This research will allow us to find new ways to improve the safety of drugs and develop new ones to combat these major diseases. It will allow us to further develop our research into the relationships between genes and disease, and responses to treatment. Genetic research will help us to understand why people get different diseases, and why certain treatments work well for some people but not for others.

    'What we are working on all the time is research that could benefit this and future generations. We are marvellously supported in all of that by the public in Tayside and we hope that they will help us reach our target of 100,000 people joining GoSHARE.'

    The use of 'spare' blood is resourceful and unique, and is made possible only by the close collaboration between the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside, as well as the installation of new technologies which allow the quick and effective tracking of blood samples

    GoSHARE is being launched only in Tayside but is a sister study to the wider Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE), a nationwide project to develop a research register of people aged 16 and over, living in Scotland, who are interested in helping with medical research.

    Research is an essential part of the process of developing new treatments and cures for conditions including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The aim of SHARE is to make it easier for researchers in Scotland to carry out medical studies.

    The Tayside launch is being supported by Dundee's Lord Provost Bob Duncan, who will host a civic reception for GoSHARE in the City Chambers on Friday August 16th.

    SHARE is a partnership between the NHS in Scotland, the Scottish Government and Universities in Scotland.

    Period14 Aug 2013 → 15 Aug 2013

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