Sickle Cell Anemia

Normal red blood cell (background, colored red) and red blood cell affected by sickle-cell anemia (foreground). The abnormally-shaped cell causes sickle cell patients great pain.

Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord Blood Can Save a Life

Cord blood transplants can cure sickle cell anemia if a proper donor match can be found. Donor matches are rare, but very effective.

Interview with Jacob Hanna

Dr. Jacob Hanna, MD, PhD believes that induced-pluripotent stem cell therapy will provide a permanent cure for sickle cell anemia in humans as soon as five years from now.

  • Sickle Cell Anemia

    Sickle cell anemia is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States.

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  • A Cure

    Currently, there is no fullproof, widespread cure for sickle cell anemia.

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  • Stem Cells

    Stem cells can give rise to various specialized tissue- or organ-specific cells.

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About the Site

This website features information on what sickle cell anemia is, who it affects, current treatments for the disease, and what research scientists are doing to find a cure.

About Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle cell anemia is a serious genetically inherited blood disorder which affects hemoglobin, the oxygen-transport molecule in red blood cells. Due to a miscoding of a single letter of the DNA, the hemoglobin protein is folded abnormally. The body, in turn, produces crescent-shaped red blood cells rather than the normal doughnut-shaped red blood cells. Crescent, or “sickle” shaped, cells do not move easily through the blood vessels. Because they are stiff and sticky, these cells often clump together and form blockages in the vessels. These blockages deprive many parts of the body of oxygen which causes severe pain, serious infections, and even organ damage. Sickle cell anemia is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States. The NIH estimates that more than 100,000 Americans suffer from sickle cell disease while about 1 in 12 African-Americans is a silent carrier of the disease, meaning that they do not experience symptoms but can pass on the trait to children. Outside the US, an estimated 15 million Africans are affected by sickle cell disease.