WP 4

Improving plasma potency assessment



Ellen van der Schoot - Leader

As MD, Ellen van der Schoot finished her PhD on the immunological characterization of acute myeloid leukaemia. From then on, she became a senior investigator at the research department and developed a specific research interest in the immune response against blood group antigens. Currently she runs the department of Experimental Immuno-Haematology.  Because of her research on alloimmunization, Ellen and colleagues have established multiple methods on antibody characterization and have extensive expertise in research on antibody characteristics to predict clinical disease severity, both of which are highly relevant for the present project.

Hendrik Feys (Rode Kruis) – Vice-leader

Hendrik Feys is a highly skilled researcher in Biochemistry with nearly two decades of research experience in several blood research projects. Currently, he is the Principal Investigator of the Transfusion Research Centre (TReC). Hendrik has an elaborate technical knowledge and project management expertise in transfusion medicine, (monoclonal) antibody research, and the development of novel blood products and quantitative assays.

Heli Harvala Simmonds (NHSBT) – Vice-leader

Heli Harvala graduated in Medicine, obtained a Master of Science degree in Organic Chemistry and a PhD in Virology at the University of Turku, Finland. She completed her training in clinical virology at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2015. She completed the 2-year European Public Health Microbiology fellowship programme at the Public Health Agency of Sweden. To date, Dr Heli Harvala is a consultant medical virologist working for the NHS Blood and Transplant, and Public Health England where she is responsible for clinical follow-up of infected blood donors, and also a main investigator of suspected transfusion transmitted infections in NHSBT England.

Collaborating members

Veerle Compernolle – Belgische Rode Kruis


Elise Wouters – Belgische Rode Kruis


Christian Erikstrup – Aarhus Universiteit Hospital


Francis Swaneveld – Sanquin


Maurice Steenhuis – Sanquin


Daphne Thijssen – Sanquin


Dung Nguyen – University of Oxford