A photo of Russell Ware.

Russell E. Ware, MD, PhD

  • Director, Division of Hematology
  • Institute Co-Executive Director, Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute
  • Director, Global Health Center                                     
  • Marjory J. Johnson Chair of Hematology Translational Research
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



As a practicing pediatric hematologist for 30 years, I provide care for children with a wide variety of hematological disorders. My primary focus is the evaluation and management of care for children with sickle cell anemia and other hemolytic anemias. I also treat children who present with other forms of anemia, as well as neutropenia or thrombocytopenia.

When I began my career, there were almost no treatments available for sickle cell anemia. We now have many new diagnostic tools and novel approaches to help improve our young patients' lives. I have always enjoyed providing direct clinical care as well as performing laboratory investigations that lead to more effective care and improved outcomes for our children.

My research goals are to determine the best ways to use hydroxyurea for children with sickle cell anemia and to understand why some children respond better than others. I’m investigating the genetic basis for treatment outcomes and hope to optimize hydroxyurea treatment for each patient. Transforming the clinical care of children with sickle cell anemia across the world, through the widespread use of hydroxyurea, is my long-term research goal.

Our studies include both translational and clinical research. I have led several National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded trials of hydroxyurea to prevent stroke in children with sickle cell anemia, demonstrating the efficacy of this simple daily oral medication. I’m also investigating the use of hydroxyurea in low-resource settings, focusing on sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Our exciting results have shown the feasibility, safety and benefits of hydroxyurea in these settings, which could potentially transform the treatment landscape for sickle cell anemia worldwide. Some of my research trials also include point-of-care diagnostics and optimizing hydroxyurea treatment through individualized dosing.

Improving the care and health of children with sickle cell anemia has been a rewarding career goal. However, taking what we have learned in the United States and bringing this knowledge to low-resource countries has been even more gratifying. With support from the Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation, we have established productive global partnerships with local partners in six sub-Saharan countries and two Caribbean islands. These collaborations are changing the approach to diagnosing and treating sickle cell anemia worldwide.

MD: Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, 1979-83.

Residency: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 1983-86.

Fellowship: Duke Medical Center, Durham, NC, 1986-89.

PhD: Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, 1987-91.

Certification: Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

Services and Specialties

Cancer and Blood Diseases, Sickle Cell and Hemoglobin Disorders

Research Areas

Hematology, Cancer and Blood Diseases, Global Health

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Efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of a new, ready-to-use, liquid hydroxyurea in children with sickle cell anemia. Rankine-Mullings, A; Keenan, R; Chakravorty, S; Inusa, B; Telfer, P; Velangi, M; Ware, RE; Moss, JJ; Lloyd, AL; Edwards, S; et al. Blood Advances. 2023; 7:4319-4322.

Defining global strategies to improve outcomes in sickle cell disease: a Lancet Haematology Commission. Piel, FB; Rees, DC; DeBaun, MR; Nnodu, O; Ranque, B; Thompson, AA; Ware, RE; Abboud, MR; Abraham, A; Ambrose, EE; et al. The Lancet Haematology. 2023; 10:e633-e686.

Sustained and Boosted Antibody Responses in Breast Milk After Maternal SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination. Ware, J; McElhinney, K; Latham, T; Lane, A; Dienger-Stambaugh, K; Hildeman, D; Spearman, P; Ware, RE. Breastfeeding Medicine. 2023; 18:612-620.

Zinc for infection prevention in children with sickle cell anemia: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Namazzi, R; Opoka, R; Conroy, AL; Datta, D; Tagoola, A; Bond, C; Goings, MJ; Ryu, MS; Cusick, SE; Krebs, NF; et al. Blood Advances. 2023; 7:3023-3031.

Evaluation of association of anti-PEG antibodies with anaphylaxis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination. Zhou, ZH; Cortese, MM; Fang, JL; Wood, R; Hummell, DS; Risma, KA; Norton, AE; KuKuruga, M; Kirshner, S; Rabin, RL; et al. Vaccine. 2023; 41:4183-4189.

Hydroxyurea pharmacokinetics and precision dosing in low-resource settings. Smart, LR; Charles, M; McElhinney, KE; Dong, M; Power-Hays, A; Howard, T; Vinks, AA; Ambrose, EE; Ware, RE. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. 2023; 10:1130206.

Hydroxyurea treatment for sickle cell anemia during pregnancy and lactation: Current evidence and knowledge gaps. Dong, M; Ware, RE; Dallmann, A; Vinks, AA. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy. 2023; 43:419-429.

Hydroxyurea with dose escalation for primary stroke risk reduction in children with sickle cell anaemia in Tanzania (SPHERE): an open-label, phase 2 trial. Ambrose, EE; Latham, TS; Songoro, P; Charles, M; Lane, AC; Stuber, SE; Makubi, AN; Ware, RE; Smart, LR. The Lancet Haematology. 2023; 10:e261-e271.

Genome-wide association study of early ischaemic stroke risk in Brazilian individuals with sickle cell disease implicates ADAMTS2 and CDK18 and uncovers novel loci. Earley, EJ; Kelly, S; Fang, F; Alencar, CS; Rodrigues, DD O W; Soares Cruz, DT; Flanagan, J; Ware, RE; Zhang, X; Gordeuk, V; et al. British Journal of Haematology. 2023; 201:343-352.

Hydroxyurea treatment is associated with lower malaria incidence in children with sickle cell anemia in sub-Saharan Africa. Olupot-Olupot, P; Tomlinson, G; Williams, TN; Tshilolo, L; Santos, B; Smart, LR; McElhinney, K; Howard, TA; Aygun, B; Stuber, SE; et al. Blood. 2023; 141:1402-1410.

From the Blog

Hydroxyurea Research Gets $7.7M Boost from NHLBI
Rare Diseases

Hydroxyurea Research Gets $7.7M Boost from NHLBI

Russell E. Ware, MD, PhD9/16/2022

In NEJM: Dose Escalation Best Approach for Sickle Cell Med in Africa
Rare Diseases

In NEJM: Dose Escalation Best Approach for Sickle Cell Med in Africa

Russell E. Ware, MD, PhD6/25/2020

Moms with Sickle Cell Anemia Can Take Life-Saving Med and Breastfeed Baby
Rare Diseases

Moms with Sickle Cell Anemia Can Take Life-Saving Med and Breastfeed Baby

Russell E. Ware, MD, PhD3/30/2020

Our 2019 Research Annual Report
Genomics and Development

Our 2019 Research Annual Report

Russell E. Ware, MD, PhD, John Hogenesch, PhD ...2/4/2020

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