Research areas & programs
Scientific research has been an important part of BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s mission since our organization began 60 years ago. Basic and clinical scientists at BloodCenter have made significant discoveries leading to improvement of diagnosis and care of patients.
Our research programs involve both basic scientists and clinical scientists in BloodCenter’s Medical Sciences Institute (MSI), facilitating opportunities to identify and engage in collaborative translational research. These research programs include:
  • Thrombosis, Hemostasis and Vascular Biology
  • Immunobiology
  • Transfusion Medicine
  • Stem Cell Biology and Hematopoiesis

BloodCenter of Wisconsin is the recipient of a long-standing, highly successful Institutional Training Grant that supports postdoctoral research training in transfusion medicine and benign hematology. Research opportunities available to trainees cover a broad range of clinical and basic research subjects relevant to transfusion medicine and hematology, including Immunology, Vascular Biology/Hemostasis, Transfusion Medicine, Stem Cell Biology, and Clinical Research.  View Current Opportunities

The BloodCenter’s Diagnostic Laboratories and Blood Services provide further opportunities for collaboration in development and use of diagnostic tests and access to blood samples and related databases. Our scientists lead and participate in national and international clinical studies, and have made important contributions to the understanding of basic biological mechanisms that impact blood-related treatments and disorders.
Basic research is housed at Blood Research Institute (BRI), a state-of-the-art facility that gives investigators access to cutting-edge research equipment and related specialized services. BRI is located on the campus of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, along with the Medical College of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. In addition to the intellectual capital and resources within BloodCenter, the local density of healthcare and research facilities provides us with a rich environment for biomedical research.

7-1-1_THVB_212x160Thrombosis Hemostasis and Vascular Biology includes the cellular and molecular mechanisms of normal blood clotting, pathological thrombosis, and events impacting the integrity of vasculature and blood vessel development.
The Thrombosis, Hemostasis and Vascular Biology program, the largest research program at BloodCenter, houses basic and clinical research. The Blood Research Institute is home to a number of important breakthroughs in understanding mechanisms of the regulation of blood clotting. The work of our clinical investigators has led to improvement of outcomes for blood-related diseases including Sickle Cell Disease, Hemophilia, and von Willebrand Disease.

7-1-2_NKCell_212x160Immunobiology research spans work on T-cells, B-cells, and NK cells as well as neuroimmunology, T-cell receptor structure and function and vaccine development.
Historically, immunobiology has been a cornerstone of BloodCenter research. Initial work focused on understanding the importance of antibody/antigen recognition in successful blood transfusions. BloodCenter investigators played important roles in the performance of the first allogeneic bone marrow transplant and the creation of the national marrow donor program. As knowledge of the complexity of the regulation of the development and activation of cells within the immune system has grown, so has BloodCenter’s research program in this area. Our investigators work on a wide range of immunological questions that are helping to explain important immunological mechanisms impacting disease states.

7-1-3_TM_212x160Research in Transfusion Medicine focuses on immune responses to transfused blood and the underlying immunologic mechanisms, as well as practices related to blood storage and safety.

Transfusion Medicine has a long history at BloodCenter, reflecting our longstanding mission to provide a safe supply of blood products for the community. Early on, discoveries made at BloodCenter were critical in improving patient outcomes related to transfusion. Currently, investigators in the Transfusion Medicine Program study the basic biology and clinical implications of a wide range of transfusion-related issues.

Richard H. Aster, MD
Rachel Bercovitz, MD
Brian Curtis, PhD
Hervé Falet, PhD
Jerome L. Gottschall, MD

Matthew Karafin, MD
Anand Padmanabhan, MD, PhD

7-1-4_StemCell_212x160Research in the Stem Cell Biology and Hematopoiesis program encompasses signals and factors that regulate normal and disordered hematopoiesis.
Stem Cell Biology and Hematopoiesis is the newest research program at BloodCenter, bringing BloodCenter into the fields of regenerative medicine and targeted cellular therapies. The Stem Cell and Hematopoeisis Program reflects BloodCenter’s ongoing commitment to expanding basic research in areas that will ultimately lead to improved understanding and treatment of blood cell-related disorders. Housed in a new wing of the Blood Research Institute, investigators are using cutting-edge technology to study and reveal molecular mechanisms related to the regulation of stem cell properties and B-cell development.

Alex Minella, MD
Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD
Qizhen Shi, MD, PhD
Nan Zhu, PhD

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