Versiti - Karin Hoffmeister, MD | Versiti Blood Research Institute

Karin Hoffmeister, MD

Karin Karin profile

Karin Hoffmeister, MD

Hauske Family Endowed Chair in Glycobiology, Deputy Director

Transfusion Medicine, Vascular Biology and Cell Therapy

Hauske Family Endowed Chair in Glycobiology
Deputy Director, Senior Investigator

Versiti Blood Research Institute

Program Director, Primary Mentor
Translational Glycomics Center

Professor Biochemistry
Medical College of Wisconsin

Education and Training

M.D. 1993
Technical University of Aachen
Aachen, Germany

Doctor of Medicine 1995
Doctoral Research Degree
Technical University of Aachen

Contact Information

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.

But 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 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 will focus on innovative approaches to improving hematopoietic stem cell transplants and transfusions of blood platelets. At the same time, 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 – 2021.

Grant: K12-HL-141954 “Glycans in Blood Homeostasis and Disease” - National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (Principal Investigator) 2018 – 2023.

Ratnashree Biswas, MD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Robert Burns, PhD
Computational Biologist (Dry Lab)

Simon Glabere
Research Tech

Marge Kipp
Animal Tech

Melissa Lee-Sundlov, PhD
Research Scientist and K12 Scholar

Leonardo Rivadeneyra, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Anna Schmidt
Research Tech

Heather Davidson
Research Tech

Renee Hill
Program Administrator

Translational GlycOmics K12 Center

The Translational Glycomics Center is part of the 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 Glycomics Symposium each spring, 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 Blood Research Institute (Versiti, 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 Blood Research Institute (BRI) and the Center for Translational Glycomics, BloodCenter of Wisconsin (BCW), in association with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW); Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Roswell); and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

The Program will support and educate glycoscientists so that they can better understand the functional diversity and specificity of glycans.

For more information, visit: Translational GlycOmics Program for Career Development in Glycoscience

Transfusion Medicine & Cellular Therapy
We study biology and pathology of blood vessels, blood and blood cells and design ways to repair or replace them when damaged.
Translational GlycOmics K12 Program
Translational glycoscience research program that supports scientists in the emerging field of glycoscience research and investigation.
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Versiti Blood Research Institute
Versiti Blood Research Institute investigators study blood disorders like hemophilia, blood cancers like leukemia, and other blood diseases.