Meet a researcher

Meet a researcher

Behind the scenes with Dr Surendra Karki, a Lifeblood Research Fellow

Surendra is the lead Investigator on the Australian Blood Donor Study (ABDS), a long-term study of blood donors starring you. Surendra is an epidemiologist and loves using data to help answer health questions.
Surendra’s work at Lifeblood is important, but it’s not all that’s important in his life. If he’s not working hard on the latest research, you might just find him playing with his lovely baby daughter. 
Read more about Surendra here.

How did you come up with the idea for ABDS?

Countries like the Netherlands, Finland, and the UK have recently established large studies of blood donors to inform their donation policies. These data sets, particularly those including genomic  information (the information in your DNA that you’ve inherited from your parents), let the researchers answer questions that can improve the health of donors and address blood donation behaviour. We decided to establish this study to help create policies that improve the health and experience of Australian donors.

What part of this study are you most excited about?

I’m excited about everything in this study. The most exciting part is to recruit donors in this study and see this number increasing daily! Along with their regular donation, they’ve been giving samples for the study and taking time to complete the online survey. We’ve had a great response, which is amazing! I’m also looking forward to answering several research questions over the next few years using the data our donors have provided. 

What has been the biggest challenge in setting up this study? 

We have been on this journey to establish the biggest donor study yet in Australia. There are a lot of things that need to happen seamlessly, from collecting, transporting, processing and storing the samples, to managing data securely. We’ve drawn together a dedicated team of experts working tirelessly to make sure it all works.

What is your favourite part of doing research at Lifeblood?

My research at Lifeblood has real-life impact. Our research projects are strategically focused on enabling business changes that improve the donation experience, or the products or services provided by Lifeblood for Australians who need them.