Karin Hoffmeister, MD
Karin Hoffmeister, MD
Hauske Family Endowed Chair in Glycobiology, Deputy Director
Hauske Family Endowed Chair in Glycobiology
Deputy Director, Senior Investigator
Versiti Blood Research Institute
Program Director, Primary Mentor
Translational Glycomics Center
Medical College of Wisconsin
Education and Training
Technical University of Aachen
Doctor of Medicine 1995
Doctoral Research Degree
Technical University of Aachen
Karin Hoffmeister is working hard to bring the field of glycoscience into mainstream research and clinical practice. The specialty field focuses on uncovering the structure and function of sugar molecules and their role in health and disease. Hoffmeister said the field receives little attention, but the research emerging from it could be critical when designing and testing new therapies for blood diseases.
“There is a specificity to sugar molecules that is absolutely phenomenal, but there was no understanding or consideration for them in the clinic 25 years ago,” said Hoffmeister, a senior investigator and director of the Translational Glycomics Center at Versiti. Scientists shy away from investigating sugar molecules because of their perceived complexity and, Hoffmeister said, because of the lack of education, research tools, and collaboration opportunities that would make the work appealing.
Dr. Hoffmeister, who also is a professor of biochemistry and medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, is determined to change that. As head of the Translational Glycomics Center, she is developing a human glycome database to understand how sugar molecules on the surface of hematopoietic cells function in both healthy and disease states. Under her leadership, the center focuses on innovative approaches to improving hematopoietic stem cell transplants and transfusions of blood platelets. She is also leader of the Translational Metabolomics (TraM) strategic initiative at MCW to increase scientific progress and impact in Wisconsin and nationwide, especially in glycomics and metabolomics. Dr. Hoffmeister is training the next generation of glycoscience investigators in her role as a program director and principal investigator of the first NHLBI National Career Development Consortium for Excellence in Glycoscience. The consortium is located at several sites and works to bridge glycosciences with today’s medical needs.
Grant: R01-HL-089224 “Carbohydrate-mediated Platelet Clearance” – National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (Principal Investigator) 2007 – 2027.
Grant: K12-HL-141954 “Glycans in Blood Homeostasis and Disease” - National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (Principal Investigator) 2018 – 2024.
Grant: P01-HL-151333 “Molecular and Clinical Glycobiology of the Bone Marrow Environment” - National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (Principal Investigator) 2021-2025
Grant: “Leveraging a new Translational Metabolomics Resource to Identify Cancer Pathways and Signatures” - Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (via MCW) (Co-investigator) 2022-2030
Renee Hill, MBA,
Agata Steenackers, PhD,
Alejandro Roisman, PhD,
Natalia Weich, PhD,
Ratnashree Biswas, MD,
Kate Rosenbalm, PhD,
Research Program Coordinator
George Steinhardt, PhD,
Translational GlycOmics Center
The Translational Glycomics Center is part of the Versiti Blood Research Institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We focus our efforts on platelet and glycan-based research under the direction of Karin Hoffmeister, MD. The TGC hosts an annual Translational Glycomics Symposium each year, featuring nationally renowned speakers. The center is also part of the first NHLBI established consortium of four sites to focus on career development of the next generation of biomedical investigators in glycoscience. The ultimate goal of the consortium is to push glycoscience from a niche research area into the forefront of mainstream medical research.
Karin Hoffmeister became the Director of the Translational Glycomics Center at the Versiti Blood Research Institute (Milwaukee, WI) in 2017. The goal of the Center is to determine how glycans and glyco-genetics regulate hematopoiesis during development, under steady state and in disease. The combination of her skills as a clinician-scientist keeps the Center focused on translational aspects of research and is a prerequisite to the often needed “out of the box” thinking when approaching relatively unknown areas of investigation, such as glycans and regulation of glycol-genetics.
Translational GlycOmics K12 Program
For the first time, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) offered a K12 Career Development Program in translational glycosciences called “National Career Development Consortium for Excellence in Glycosciences.”
This program is located at several sites nationwide, including: the Versiti Blood Research Institute (VBRI) and the Center for Translational Glycomics, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW); Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Roswell); and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
The Program supports and educates glycoscientists so they can better understand the functional diversity and specificity of glycans.
For more information, visit: Translational GlycOmics Program for Career Development in Glycoscience
Social Media Links
Translational Glycomics Center: https://twitter.com/CenterGlycomics