Will continue research into von Willebrand disease

Versiti Blood Research Institute won a five-year, $13.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue its research into von Willebrand disease, the most common and undiagnosed bleeding disorder.

The Blood Research Institute, based at the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa, 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 Dr. Robert Montgomery, senior investigator at Versiti Blood Research Institute.

Montgomery’s research is part of a larger effort, called The Zimmerman Program on the Biology of VWD. Versiti Blood Research Institute has contributed research through the program for more than a decade.

Versiti will collaborate with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Queens University in Kingston, the University of Colorado, Washington University in St. Louis, and 10 clinical hemostasis centers across North America. The program officially began in March and runs through February 2024.

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