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Medical College Researcher Receives $10 Millon Grant to Study Bleeding Disorder

Nationally renowned researcher at Wauwatosa institution will use major grant to study a common but little-understood bleeding disorder.

 

The in Wauwatosa has received a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study Von Willebrand Disease, which is the most common hereditary bleeding disorder.

Von Willebrand disease is caused by a deficiency of a protein necessary for normal blood clotting.  Most cases are mild, but aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs can make the condition worse. 

With this grant, Dr. Robert Montgomery will identify the clinical and genetic characteristics of a large number of patients with Von Willebrand Disease.

"We don't really understand the genetic causes that lead to the protein deficiency," said Dr. Montgomery, a professor of pediatrics at the Medical College and a national expert in Von Willebrand Disease. "Understanding this group of disorders has not been optimal, and how we evaluate and treat these patients has been unclear."

Dr. Montgomery's research team includes co-investigators at the Medical College, BloodCenter of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. In addition, there are seven primary clinical centers and more than two dozen secondary clinical centers throughout the United States which will recruit research subjects and send samples to Milwaukee for specialized testing. To date, more than 600 families have been recruited for the project.

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