Versiti, Inc., a national leader in blood health innovation, has announced that Richard Aster, M.D., senior investigator at Versiti’s Blood Research Institute, is being recognized with the 2018 Health Care Heroes, Lifetime Achievement Award by BizTimes Media in Milwaukee. The annual award honors the accomplishments of people and organizations who make a positive impact on healthcare. Dr. Aster will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Dec. 14.
Dr. Aster has been continuously recognized as a scientific leader in hematology and transfusion medicine during his more than 50-year career. “He is a giant in the field of transfusion medicine and hematology,” said Gilbert White, executive vice president of research at Versiti, and director of the Blood Research Institute. “From fundamental discoveries in his research lab, to being an early advocate for tissue typing in transplantation and unrelated bone marrow donation, as well as his leadership in founding organizations such as Blood Centers of America, The Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation, the Blood Research Institute, the BloodCenter Research Foundation and GTI Diagnostics, he has had an enormous impact in his field.”
Dr. Aster holds one of the longest-running, fully-funded National Institutes of Health research grants, which he received in 1969 and is still active today. His research focus has been pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of immune conditions that affect blood cells, especially those involving blood platelets. His current studies are focused on drug-induced immune thrombocytopenia.
Dr. Aster was executive director of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin from 1970 to 1975 and president from 1975 to 1996, prior to his research focus at the Blood Research Institute. He has received numerous awards, including the prestigious NIH Merit Award, the Milwaukee Academy of Medicine Distinguished Service Award, the American Association of Blood Banks Bernard Fantus Lifetime Achievement Award, and the America’s Blood Centers Thomas F. Zuck Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Aster has authored more than 400 scientific papers, which have been published in the world’s premier scientific and clinical journals, including 43 manuscripts published in Blood.
Versiti, a national leader in blood health innovation, was formed with the mission to improve the health of patients and enable the success of our health care partners nationally. We provide innovative, value added solutions in the fields of transfusion medicine, transplantation, and blood-related diseases to meet the needs of each of our customers. The collective efforts across Versiti result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care and cost efficiencies for health care systems nationwide. For more information, visit www.versiti.org.