Karin Hoffmeister is working to bring glycoscience into mainstream research and clinical practice.
The field focuses on uncovering the structure and function of sugar molecules and their role in health and disease.
This research could be critical when designing and testing new personalized therapies for blood diseases, but scientists may shy away from investigating sugar molecules because of their perceived complexity and because of the lack of education, research tools and collaboration opportunities, said Hoffmeister.
“The time is now to approach the complexity of sugars using novel ‘omics’ tools and artificial intelligence to unravel the sugar-code,” said Hoffmeister.
Hoffmeister is also a professor of biochemistry and medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa and associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. As head of the glycomics center at Milwaukee-based Versiti, she is developing a human glycome database to understand how sugar molecules on the surface of hematopoietic cells function in both healthy and disease states.