Glycobiology Research in Transfusion Medicine
What are glycans?
Glycoscience is a niche research area that is understudied in the scientific community. Glycans are a fundamental building block of life and play a substantial role in the treatment of chronic diseases and cancer. They cover all cell systems, including blood cells, and are key for many biological roles.
ABO blood groups are essential cell surface markers that must be carefully matched in both donor and recipient of blood transfusions and organ transplants. ABO blood groups are also glycans, and there is a critical need to understand the complex chemical glycan structure and immune reactions toward surface glycans, including ABO blood groups.
Why are glycans important?
Creating personalized glycan signatures allows for individually designed treatments for diseases. Versiti’s scientists and physicians have expertise in advanced glycoscience research and the application of glycans in therapies. Because they devote their time to patients and researching scientific diseases, they have immediate access to the latest scientific advances—often before new treatment applications are widely available.
Translational Glycobiology Center
The Translational Glycomics Center (TGC) focuses on blood platelets and glycan-based research under the direction of Versiti Blood Research Institute Senior Investigator Karin Hoffmeister, MD. Located on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus, the TGC is 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 TGC has solidified its roots with cutting-edge research tools, technical resources and state-of-the-art techniques not seen elsewhere in Wisconsin’s glycan research.
Why this research is cutting edge
Versiti uses sophisticated scientific research tools, including laboratory models, array technology and mass spectrometry, combined with new computational analytics, to understand the structure of carbohydrates and the role of the glycan in health and disease.
The TGC offers specialized glycobiology programs and unique knowledge of diseases, including sickle cell disease, immune disorders and cancer, coupled with investigator-initiated research programs, to investigate glycan structure. Each program includes a complete team of physicians and scientific experts who focus on a particular group of diseases. This means our partners receive a completely coordinated plan detailing how to investigate glycans and translate basic knowledge into therapy and diagnostics.