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Rusfond and Kazan University Sign Agreement on National Bone Marrow Donor Registry

Rector Ilshat Gafurov and Director of Rusfond Lev Ambinder met on April 13th.

A preliminary understanding between the sides was reached in May 2016. Kazan University was chosen as a partner for a reason – its top-notch infrastructure, including HLA type test capacities, played its role in this choice.

Rector Gafurov greeted the guests with warm words, «What you do cannot be called just «work», it’s a great endeavor. This will help us give children a chance for a healthy and happy life».

Rusfond has been in this project since 2013. The registry currently comprises ten regional and institutional databases with over 67 thousand entries.

Director Ambinder said that adding Tatarstan with its genetic variability to the roster will help many patients in need, «There are three reasons why this event today is important. Firstly, that’s lowering the cost of tests for the registry. Secondly, it’s the acceleration in donor search procedures. Cancer is an insidious disease, and time is of the essence here. Thirdly, we are starting this project not as mediators but as creators of a new structure aimed at helping children».

First transfer from Rusfond amounts to 5 million rubles. The work on KFU’s side is done by the Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, the coordinator is Deputy Director for Clinical Care and Internships Rushaniya Gayfullina. Technological side is handled by the Gene and Cell Technologies Lab headed by Corresponding Member of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences Albert Rizvanov. Blood samples have been being delivered to the Institute since 2016.

Joint KFU-RIKEN Lab with its genome sequencing capabilities is also poised to join this work.

KFU Biobank currently has over 900 blood samples from potential donors. 200 of them have been processed and added to the registry. Two persons are compatible in 5 of 10 loci and can become donors if need be.

The agreement also provides ground for further advancement of research technology, including NGS for HLA type tests. The first stage (until August 2017) is preparatory; the second will include NGS tests on no less than 1,000 blood samples. The third – and final – stage consists of 25 thousand tests of potential registry donors.

Rusfond also signed an agreement with Children’s Republican Clinical Hospital. The hospital will organize a leasing service providing lung ventilators for households.

Lev Ambinder then visited KFU Museum of History and met with students and journalists at the Higher School of Journalism and Media Communications. He graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of Kazan University in 1970 and was very curious to find out how the educational process at his alma mater has changed in this timeframe.