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The Versiti Blood Research Institute was recently awarded a $12.3 million federal grant for research that could produce therapeutics to support blood cell production health.

The grant, awarded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, will support the Wauwatosa-based Blood Research Institute’s research program that is seeking an understanding of cell surface sugars in regulating blood cell production in health and disease.

“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.

The study began Jan. 1 and is planned to be conducted through 2025.

“It’s an honor to receive this financial support. I want to solve mysteries,” 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. In 2020, it awarded $24 million to the organization for various research projects.

The Blood Research Institute is part of Milwaukee-based Versiti Inc., an affiliation of blood centers that includes centers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.