Sickle Cell Research

Through discovery, innovation and collaboration, researchers at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta are searching for ways to improve the outcomes and quality of life for children with sickle cell disease. Program themes include:

Clinical and Translational Research

  • Evaluating health outcomes and new therapies, such as hydroxyurea and stem cell transplantation
  • Improving the prevention of sickle cell disease complications, such as nephropathy, pain and stroke
  • Enhancing the quality of life
  • Advancing the treatment of sickle cell disease
  • Finding a cure
  • Red blood cell alloimmunization
  • Micronutrients
  • Find a clinical trial

Clinical and Translational Researchers

Basic Research

  • Determining whether angiogenic growth factors play a protective or pathological role in lung endothelial barrier integrity and in leg ulcers in sickle cell disease
  • Identifying specific anti-oxidant enzymes that protect the pulmonary vasculature from oxidant-induced remodelling in sickle cell disease pulmonary hypertension
  • Investigating the cellular interactions in sickle cell disease to determine their relative contributions to vaso-occlusion, hemolysis and reactive oxygen species generation
  • Pathogenesis of sickle cell disease in respect to the generation, prevention and treatment of organ dysfunction—examine the role of endothelial cells in the generation of both the proteinuria and the concentrating defects associated with renal dysfunction
  • Genomics
    • Genetic association studies to identify markers that influence the incidence of pulmonary hypertension and leg ulcers in sickle cell disease
  • Nanotechnology
    • Children’s is home to the first Center for Pediatric Nanomedicine in the nation. In conjunction with Emory, Georgia Tech and Morehouse, physicians and engineers will develop targeted, molecular-sized nanoparticles as part of a unique approach to treating pediatric diseases, such as sickle cell. Nanomedicine has the potential to profoundly improve, if not completely revolutionize, the treatment, care and ultimate cure of childhood diseases and conditions

Basic Researchers

Research Collaborations

The Aflac Cancer Center Sickle Cell Program conducts leading-edge research in collaboration with the following local, regional and national organizations: