Versiti awarded $12.3M NIH research grant

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Versiti Blood Research Institute announced Thursday, Jan. 28, they've been awarded a $12.3 million research grant by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to support Versiti’s research of how blood production is governed by sugars and how sugars change amid cancer and disease.

According to a news release from Versiti, the research program seeks to yield a transformative understanding of cell surface sugars (glycans) in regulating blood cell production in health and disease. Researchers will leverage the knowledge to find novel therapeutic targets and therapeutics to support blood and blood cell production health.

“The research funded by this NIH grant is about how we utilize one essential building block of life to promote our health and sustain our lives, especially how sugars affect our lives,” said Dr. Karin Hoffmeister, senior investigator at the Versiti Blood Research Institute.

Versiti says the funded study, titled “Molecular and Clinical Glycobiology of the Bone Marrow Environment,” began January 1 of this year and is planned to be conducted through 2025.

“It’s an honor to receive this financial support. I want to solve mysteries,” Dr. Hoffmeister said. “I hope to provide one or two solutions to therapy and through this research understand how we can eliminate some cancers by delimitating disease.”

The NIH funds much of Versiti’s research and in 2020 awarded $24 million for various research projects.

Located on the campus of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, the Versiti Blood Research Institute is a state-of-the-art facility that gives investigators access to cutting-edge research equipment and related specialized services, resulting in the advancement of innovative drugs, products and services.

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