Versiti Blood Research Institute, a national leader in blood health innovation, has been awarded a 5-year, $13.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue its research into von Willebrand disease (VWD), both the most common and undiagnosed bleeding disorder found in patients worldwide. The VWD research project is focused on identifying changes to von Willebrand factor and bleeding symptoms in patients over time and determining additional molecular causes for the disease.
“By tracking the amount of bleeding in patients over time, and looking at variables such age, stress, surgery and genetic factors, this grant will not only help us pinpoint why factor levels and the effects of the disease can change throughout a patient’s life, but also provide more accurate diagnoses for VWD,” said Versiti Blood Research Institute Senior Investigator Robert Montgomery, M.D.
Dr. Montgomery’s research is part of a larger effort called The Zimmerman Program on the Biology of VWD. Versiti Blood Research Institute has contributed invaluable research through the program for more than a decade. Throughout its history, Versiti investigators have made life-changing discoveries that have led to improved treatments and medical care for pediatric and adult VWD patients. Over the years, the NIH has recognized Versiti Blood Research Institute with more funding than any other blood center in the country.
“Our investigators strive to make discoveries that contribute to better patient care. As we continue our search to find better treatments for children and adults battling bleeding disorders, we are honored to participate in this prestigious program which will help make a life-changing impact on people with von Willebrand disease in our community and around the world,” said Versiti Executive Vice President of Research and Chief Scientific Officer Gilbert White, M.D.
As part of the program, Versiti will collaborate with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, the University of Colorado, Washington University in St. Louis, and 10 clinical hemostasis centers across North America. The program officially began in March 2019 and runs through February 2024.
About Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin
Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Milwaukee that specializes in blood services, esoteric diagnostic testing, organ, tissue and stem cell donation, medical services and leading-edge research. We advance patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. The collective efforts of Versiti affiliates result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit versiti.org.