Versiti’s Blood Research Institute has received a $1 million gift from the Mequon-based Stollenwerk Family Foundation for a new stem cell and cellular therapy institute.
The Blood Research Institute’s Foundation is raising a total of $10.4 million for the creation of the new institute, which is targeted for completion over the next three years. The gift from the Stollenwerk Foundation allows the organization to employ a new researcher, John Pulikkan, as part of the Stem Cell and Cellular Therapy Institute.
The Stollenwerk Family Foundation was founded by John Stollenwerk Sr., retired Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp. president and chief executive officer, in 2009 to support medical research, education and the arts. Stollenwerk has served on the board of the Blood Research Institute Foundation for more than 20 years.
“An investment in the Blood Research Institute is one of the best investments I can make in this community,” said Stollenwerk. “The extraordinary work of the researchers who will make up the Stem Cell and Cellular Therapy Institute, will ensure we are at the forefront of cellular therapy – which is the future of health and medicine. With the crucial support of the philanthropic community, we will transform health care globally.”
The institute plans to recruit six additional researchers as a result of future philanthropic gifts, all of whom will become part of the Stem Cell and Cellular Therapy Institute.
“We extend our most sincere gratitude to the Stollenwerk Family Foundation for this transformative gift,” said Gil White, Versiti’s chief scientific officer and executive vice president of the Blood Research Institute. “As blood health innovators, Versiti and the Blood Research Institute will use this initial gift to advance our research in the critical area of stem cell and cellular therapy. It will accelerate the great strides we’ve made over the past several years to seek new treatments for children and adults battling leukemia, lymphoma and other blood diseases.”
The Blood Research Institute, located on the campus of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, has more than 120 physicians, scientists and technologists who work in 30 investigative laboratories. It has conducted research in the areas of blood disorders, heart disease and stroke; cancer and stem cells and immunology.