Those with an increased risk of bleeding may require platelet transfusion after an injury or prior to surgery to prevent bleeding or excessive blood loss. Especially cancer patients depend on platelet donations, as therapies often disrupt blood cell formation. However, the demographic aging and the growing prevalence of cancer are met with a decreasing availability of blood and platelet donations, which is projected to lead to shortages in platelet concentrates for transfusion in the future. This imbalance poses an urgent challenge for healthcare systems.
Zoltan Nagy from the University Hospital Würzburg might contribute to the solution. He aims to investigate the key factors and molecular mechanisms that control the development of blood-forming cells, also called megakaryocytes. For this purpose, Nagy will analyze the genetic activity within individual cells at different stages of maturation using single-cell RNA sequencing. In addition, he intends to intervene in specific genes through gene manipulation experiments to observe their role in the maturation of megakaryocytes and thereby identify potential new targets for interventions to improve platelet production. The Single-Cell Center Würzburg supported the development of his research method.
Zoltan Nagy has now been accepted into the prestigious Emmy Noether Program by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The biologist will receive over 1.7 million euros in funding for a period of six years to establish a research group at the Institute of Experimental Biomedicine, University Hospital Würzburg.