Versiti’s Blood Research Institute (BRI), an international leader in blood health innovation, has announced a one million dollar gift from the Stollenwerk Family Foundation, based in Mequon, Wisconsin.
The million dollar gift to the Blood Research Institute’s Foundation supports the creation of a Stem Cell and Cellular Therapy Institute, which is targeted for completion over the next three years, and for which the foundation is seeking a total of $10.4 million in philanthropic support.
“An investment in the Blood Research Institute is one of the best investments I can make in this community,” said John Stollenwerk, Sr. “The extraordinary work of the researchers who will make up the Stem Cell and Cellular Therapy Institute, will ensure we are at the forefront of cellular therapy – which is the future of health and medicine. With the crucial support of the philanthropic community, we will transform healthcare globally.”
Stollenwerk has served on the board of the Blood Research Institute Foundation for more than 20 years. A long-time community philanthropist and retired President and CEO of the Allen-Edmonds Shoe Corporation, he created the Stollenwerk Family Foundation in 2009 to support medical research, education, and the arts.
The gift from the Stollenwerk Foundation enables the Blood Research Institute to employ new researcher, John Pulikkan, Ph.D., as part of the Stem Cell and Cellular Therapy Institute.
Dr. Pulikkan received his Ph.D. from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich where he was the Jose Carreras Leukemia Foundation Fellow.
The BRI plans to recruit six additional researchers as a result of future philanthropic gifts, all of whom will become part of the Stem Cell and Cellular Therapy Institute.
“We extend our most sincere gratitude to the Stollenwerk Family Foundation for this transformative gift,” said Gil White, Versiti’s Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of the Blood Research Institute. “As blood health innovators, Versiti and the Blood Research Institute will use this initial gift to advance our research in the critical area of stem cell and cellular therapy. It will accelerate the great strides we’ve made over the past several years to seek new treatments for children and adults battling leukemia, lymphoma and other blood diseases.”
The Blood Research Institute, a state-of-the art facility located on the campus of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, is home to more than 120 physicians, scientists and technologists who work in 30 investigative laboratories. For more than 70 years, the Blood Research Institute has been advancing life-saving research in the areas of blood disorders, heart disease and stroke; cancer and stem cells and immunology.
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.