The Dundee Medical School and NHS Tayside have a solid reputation, internationally, for their close collaboration on many pioneering medical research projects – which in turn generates a lot of money, improved patient care and many jobs for the Tayside community.
Many important breakthroughs in discovering genes for eczema, asthma and heart disease etc. are Tayside discoveries. This is proving useful in customising treatment, as has been found for asthma patients. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20931946)
The vital element in all this research is, simply, local people who volunteer to help us.
The University of Dundee and NHS Tayside have started a new initiative to capture names of potential volunteers for medical research onto a research register called GoSHARE.
Medical research can be anything from filling in a questionnaire about your diet and exercise regime, to a clinical trial for whatever particular disease you may/may not have. Because it takes so long to find the right people at the right time, the research studies take longer than expected to complete and consequently become very expensive.
In addition to you registering on the database, there is another even simpler request.
Many of us have regular blood tests done by our GP or at the hospital. When such a sample is analysed, the blood that remains in the tube is thrown away. In fact, around 7,000 left over blood samples are discarded daily in the Blood Sciences laboratory in Ninewells alone.
This spare leftover blood can be used for genetic research, and that is why your permission is requested to use these samples in the future. Recent automation and informatics developments by Blood Sciences now allow us to automatically intercept and store such consented blood samples. Each sample has no name or details attached – the research is performed on the sample in an anonymised manner.
The most important thing here is that no special visit to your doctor for a blood test is required; the project team will just get the leftover blood from whenever you next visit the doctor.
So please sign up online today at www.goshare.org.uk
GoShare have a target of 100,000 volunteers in Tayside and we will be very grateful if you can register. Please also try and get another 10 of your friends or family to sign up.
It will only take a minute, and no further action will be required from you.