The Division of Transfusion Medicine was created in 1991 as an academic unit within the Department of Haematology. The unit is embedded in the National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) Centre on the Addenbrooke’s Hospital campus in Cambridge.

It was the first research and development unit dedicated to transfusion medicine within the NHS and is funded both from the NHSBT and external funding bodies. The Head of the Division is Professor Jean-Pierre Allain.

The focus of Transfusion Medicine research is in blood borne viruses, diagnostics and transfusion in resource poor areas, biology and genomics of megakaryocytes and platelets.

Particular highlights include:

- Global studies of the molecular epidemiology of Hepatitis B virus in collaboration with major blood centres around the world. The genomes of HBsAg- and HBsAg+ strains have been sequenced and analysed. (Professor J-P Allain).

- A Genome-Wide Association Study meta-analysis which identified 15 genetic loci that regulate the volume and count of platelets and the discovery of novel genetic loci that regulate platelet function (Professor Willem H Ouwehand).

- A rapid low cost diagnostic test for Chlamydia trachomatis has been developed and is now widely available. A test for HBsAg is being submitted for licensing (Dr Helen Lee).