Punam Malik, MD & Jay Degen, PhD
A scientific collaboration between Drs. Punam Malik and Jay Degen is revealing a novel role for hemostatic system components in the pathogenesis of organ dysfunction related to sickle cell disease (SCD). Using mouse models of SCD and novel genetic tools for altering key coagulation system components in vivo, Drs. Malik and Degen directly established that interventions at the level of hemostatic factors could significantly ameliorate SCD-related organ pathologies and dramatically improve long-term survival. Their initial findings were the foundation for a newly-funded, multi-investigator grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Theodosia Kalfa, MD
Dr. Theodosia Kalfa’s laboratory has developed a state-of-the-art method to analyze terminal erythropoiesis using multiparameter high-speed cell imaging in flow. They demonstrated in a highlighted publication in Blood that erythroblast enucleation is a more complex process than previously thought, requiring a multistep action of tubulin and filamentous actin, as well as lipid raft formation coordinated by Rac GTPases. This study creates the basis for further research on terminal erythroid maturation with the potential to improve the efficiency of red blood cell production in vitro.
Our thrombosis program has collaborated with Interventional Radiology in expanding the use of site-directed mechanical and pharmacologic thrombolysis in the treatment of blood clots in children and adolescents. The prompt restoration of venous blood flow by clot lysis procedures will significantly reduce the long-term consequences of thrombosis for our patients. Only a few pediatric centers nationally offer this therapeutic option. As such, we are increasing our referrals from other pediatric thrombosis centers for the procedure.
Charles T. Quinn, MD, MS
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) recognized Dr. Charles Quinn’s work in sickle cell disease by choosing him as a National and International Program Co-chair and Speaker for the Highlights of ASH program in North America, Latin America and Asia.
Sickle Cell Center
The Sickle Cell Center has been awarded several national and regional grants that focus on improving outcomes for patients with SCD and related hemoglobinopathies. Dr. Lori Crosby was awarded over 2 million dollars in grant funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as part of a collaboration between the Divisions of Hematology and Behavioral Medicine to study mechanisms to improve the crucial and complicated transition of sickle cell patients from the pediatric to the adult setting. Ms. Lisa Shook has been named the Program Director/Health Educator of the Ohio Department of Health Regional Sickle Cell Services Program, Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps. The purpose of this program is promoting the early identification of children and adults with SCD and related hemoglobinopathies and facilitating their integration into systems of care that are accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated and culturally sensitive.