Timely diagnosis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis

Aug. 22, 2014

A collaborative team of researchers from the Blood Research Institute at BloodCenter of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has received a one-year, $50,000 grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI) to study accurate and timely diagnosis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis.

Anand Padmanabhan, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of therapeutic services and associate investigator of the Blood Research Institute at BloodCenter of Wisconsin, and assistant professor of pathology at MCW, is the primary investigator for the grant. His collaborators include Namrata Peswani, M.D., hematology/oncology fellow at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin; Richard Aster, Ph.D., senior investigator of the Blood Research Institute at BloodCenter of Wisconsin, and professor of pathology at MCW; Janice McFarland, M.D., professor of medicine at MCW and senior medical director at BloodCenter of Wisconsin; Daniel Bougie, research scientist at BloodCenter of Wisconsin; Brian Curtis, Ph.D., director of the platelet and neutrophil immunology lab at BloodCenter of Wisconsin, and Demin Wang, senior investigator at the Blood Research Institute.

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a condition that occurs in one to three percent of patients exposed to heparin, a very useful anticoagulant. HIT is characterized by low blood platelet counts, and in some patients, blood clots that can be dangerous. In order to appropriately manage HIT, accurate and timely diagnosis is needed. The primary goal of the project is to develop a new assay that would provide a fast and accurate diagnosis.

This is one of 13 pilot projects being funded in 2014 through CTSI. The goal of the grants is to create synergy through collaboration, and studies are specifically designed to lead to major future research support. The projects explore findings that have the potential to be translated into clinical practice and community health, and are led by investigators at the CTSI’s eight partnering institutions: the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the Clement Zablocki VA Medical Center, and BloodCenter of Wisconsin.

CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clinical and translational research. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Support for the Pilot Award Program comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment.

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