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Willem Ouwehand

Professor of Experimental Haematology

Willem H Ouwehand received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam. Currently he is Professor of Experimental Haematology at the University of Cambridge, and holds honorary appointments at Cambridge University Hospitals, NHS Blood and Transplant, University College London Hospitals and the Welcome Sanger Institute.

He is NIHR Senior Investigator and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. His research is on rare diseases with a focus on inherited haemostasis disorders.1,2

As a founder of the NIHR BioResource, Willem has coordinated the NIHR BioResource whole-genome sequencing pilot study for Rare Diseases for the 100,000 Genomes Project.3,4 In his long-standing collaboration with Professor Nicole Soranzo, he has supported her team in unravelling the genetic architecture of blood cell formation by performing genome-wide association studies for complete blood cell count parameters in large-scale population studies, including the Donor Health Cohorts INTERVAL, COMPARE and now STRIDES.5-7

With Dr Nicholas Gleadall, he founded the Blood transfusion Genomics Consortium, a collaborative on blood cell immunogenetics in 7 countries and across 4 continents. In partnership with Dr Connie Westhoff from the New York Blood Centre, he chairs the Consortium, which brings together experts in immunogenetics, computer science and bioinformatics, statistical genomics, genotyping and regulatory matters from Blood Services, Academia and Industry. The main aim of the consortium is to introduce an affordable DNA test for high throughput blood cell antigen typing of donors and patients to the frontline of clinical care to support better matching of blood and platelets in frequently transfused patients.8,9
He lives in Cambridge / London, is married to Sally with whom he has two daughters.

Matthew Sims, et al. Novel manifestation of immune dysregulation and granule defects in Gray Platelet Syndrome. Blood, 2020.
Kate Downes, et al. Diagnostic high-throughput sequencing of 2396 patients with bleeding, thrombotic, and platelet disorders. Blood, 2019.
Ernest Turro, et al. Whole genome sequencing of patients with rare diseases in a national health system. Nature, 2020.
James ED Thaventhiran, et al. Whole-genome sequencing of a sporadic primary immunodeficiency cohort, Nature, 2020.
William J Astle, et al. The Allelic Landscape of Human Blood Cell Trait Variation and Links to Common Complex Disease. Cell, 2016.
Emanuele Di Angelantonio, et al. Efficiency and safety of varying the frequency of whole blood donation (INTERVAL): a randomised trial of 45000 donors. The Lancet, 2017.
Dragana Vuckovic, et al. The polygenic and monogenic basis of blood traits and diseases. Cell, 2020
William Lane, et al. Automated typing of red blood cell and platelet antigens: a whole-genome sequencing study. Transfusion, 2018.
Nicholas S Gleadall, et al. Development and validation of a universal blood donor genotyping platform: a multinational prospective study. Blood Advances, 2020.

Willem Ouwehand
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