A photo of Russell Ware.

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



Board Certified

Best Doctors logo

My Biography & Research


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.

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Cancer and Blood Diseases, Sickle Cell and Hemoglobin Disorders

Research Divisions

Hematology, Cancer and Blood Diseases, Global Health

Blog Posts

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

Sickle Cell Breakthrough: A Pill to Replace Blood Transfusions

Rare Diseases

Sickle Cell Breakthrough: A Pill to Replace Blood Transfusions

Russell E. Ware, MD, PhD6/28/2019

My Locations

My Education

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.

My Publications

Prospective Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease and Other Inherited Blood Disorders in Central Malawi. Tegha, G; Topazian, HM; Kamthunzi, P; Howard, T; Tembo, Z; Mvalo, T; Chome, N; Kumwenda, W; Mkochi, T; Hernandez, A; et al. Gesundheit und Wohlfahrt. Revue suisse d'hygi�ne. 2021; 66.

Implementation of near-universal hydroxyurea uptake among children with sickle cell anemia: A single-center experience. Karkoska, K; Todd, K; Niss, O; Clapp, K; Fenchel, L; Kalfa, TA; Malik, P; Quinn, CT; Ware, RE; McGann, PT. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2021; 68.

Engaging Caregivers and Providers of Children With Sickle Cell Anemia in Shared Decision Making for Hydroxyurea: Protocol for a Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial. Hood, AM; Strong, H; Nwankwo, C; Johnson, Y; Peugh, J; Mara, CA; Shook, LM; Brinkman, WB; Real, FJ; Klein, MD; et al. JMIR Research Protocols. 2021; 10.

Hydroxyurea Pharmacokinetics in Pediatric Patients After Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation. Boucher, AA; Dong, M; Vinks, AA; Marahatta, A; Howard, TA; Ware, RE; Nathan, JD; Abu-El-Haija, M; Luchtman-Jones, L. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2021; 61:547-554.

Automated Oxygen Gradient Ektacytometry: A Novel Biomarker in Sickle Cell Anemia. Sadaf, A; Seu, KG; Thaman, E; Fessler, R; Konstantinidis, DG; Bonar, HA; Korpik, J; Ware, RE; McGann, PT; Quinn, CT; et al. Frontiers in Physiology. 2021; 12.

There's safety in numbers. Ware, RE; Dertinger, SD. Blood. 2021; 137:729-731.

Absence of hydroxyurea-induced mutational effects supports higher utilisation for the treatment of sickle cell anaemia. Ware, RE; Dertinger, SD. British Journal of Haematology. 2021.

Trends in sickle cell trait and disease screening in the Republic of Uganda, 2014-2019. Hernandez, AG; Kiyaga, C; Howard, TA; Ssewanyana, I; Ndeezi, G; Aceng, JR; Ware, RE. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2021; 26:23-32.

Electrochemical Determination of Hydroxyurea in a Complex Biological Matrix Using MoS2-Modified Electrodes and Chemometrics. Cazelles, R; Shukla, RP; Ware, RE; Vinks, AA; Ben-Yoav, H. Biomedicines. 2021; 9.

AnemoCheck-LRS: an optimized, color-based point-of-care test to identify severe anemia in limited-resource settings. Perez-Plazola, MS; Tyburski, EA; Smart, LR; Howard, TA; Pfeiffer, A; Ware, RE; Lam, WA; McGann, PT. BMC Medicine. 2020; 18.