Iron Expertise Center will be transferred from Radboudumc to Sanquin

From March 15 2021, the national Expertise Center for disorders of the iron metabolism will gradually be transferred from Radboudumc to Sanquin. Discussions between the two organizations have shown that the center is better suited to Sanquin's ambitions in the future, both in the field of scientific research and because of the transfusion-related services.

The Expertise Center for disorders of the iron metabolism is a nationally and European recognized center for diagnosis and treatment of patients with abnormalities in the iron metabolism. The Expertise Center conducts research into diseases of the iron metabolism. Think of hereditary forms of anemia and iron storage diseases and conditions associated with iron metabolism disorders, such as chronic kidney disease. It is of crucial importance for these patients that the diagnostics and associated research will continue. 

Professor Dorine Swinkels, now head of the Iron Expertise Center at Radboudumc, will be working at Sanquin two days a week from 1 May 2021, to ensure continuity in knowledge, laboratory determinations and future projects. In addition, she will continue to work at Radboudumc three days a week to, among other things, continue to provide consultations to Radboudumc clinicians regarding disorders of iron metabolism. Swinkels: “I am pleased that this important area of interest now finds such a suitable home in the Netherlands at Sanquin, and I look forward to taking meaningful steps in diagnostics and research into iron diseases and iron balance in the coming years together with the various Sanquin divisions for both donors and patients.”

Diagnostics, research and blood bank

The research topic particularly suits the blood institute because the Sanquin divisions Blood Bank, Research and Diagnostics extensively work on diagnostics of patients with iron diseases, on research into donor health and iron-related diseases, which may also be related to blood transfusion. Nico Vreeswijk, director of Sanquin Diagnostics: “The Iron Expertise Center fits Sanquin very well. With our knowledge of blood and our experience with scientific research, we can be of added value to the entire transfusion-related services both nationally and internationally in the coming years. ”

Donor health

The arrival of the Iron Expertise Center is also an asset to the Blood Bank. Daphne Thijssen-Timmer, director of the Blood Bank: “At the Blood Bank, we don't only collect blood from thousands of voluntary donors. We also monitor their health. Donors lose iron when they donate, and research into iron metabolism is therefore of great importance to Sanquin. With this institute in house, we can take our knowledge of donor health to a higher level and support our donors even better.”