380 years ago, in the year 1614, Ubbo Emmius transplanted the gene ofscience from Ostfriesland into the education genome ofthe city ofGroningen as devel- oped by Regnerus Praedinius. He thereby founded the University ofGroningen. It is with great pleasure that the Faculty of Medicine as one of the founding faculties ofour University, welcomes you to this 19th International Symposium ofBloodTransfusion, whichwill coverthe themeofHereditaryDiseasesandtheir relation to Transfusion Medicine, where cell expansion, gene transfer and gene therapy are the read thread. Since the earlydays there has beena specificand sincere interest in inborn errors ofmetabolism and hereditarydisorders. This interest has resulted in a structured research, diagnostic and counselling facilities, and therapeuticapproaches where various disciplines within our faculty work closely together with groups from related faculties of the University of Groningen, as well as other national and international scientific institutions.
The field of inborn errors, genetic abnormalities and mutations, and hereditary diseases covers a broad gamma of extremely interesting and exciting scientific aspects,whichrangefrom clearphysicalaberrationstomolecularanalysisofgenes and genomes, coding areas and amino acid sequences. It is intriguing to realise that the balance of life seemingly depends on the position or presence of one single molecule as a part ofthe total complex ofgenetic information in the cell.
I. Blood coagulation: molecular biology of haemophilia, various types of von Willebrand disease and thrombophilia. II. Haemoglobin and red cells: globin gene regulation, molecular pathology of thalassaemia syndromes, options for bone marrow transplantation and gene therapy for haemoglobinopathies, molecular biology and genetic abnormalities in blood group serology. III. White cells and malignancies: role of the Blood Bank in human gene therapy trials and translocations in cancer, mechanism of oncogenic conversion and implications for therapy, role of topoisomerase IIalpha and beta isozymes in determining intrinsic and acquired drug resistance. IV. Gene technology, ethics and the future: ethics of genetic manipulation, impact of cell culture technology on transfusion medicine, strategies for making gene therapy work, the role of the Blood Bank in gene therapy.
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