About the Sickle Cell Center of Excellence

The University of Pittsburgh Sickle Cell Center of Excellence provides medical and psychosocial care for children and adults with sickle cell disease. It is home to a robust program of interdisciplinary clinical and laboratory research that works toward a common goal of improving the lives of people living with sickle cell disease. The medical programs include more than 15 physicians and staff caring for more than 500 patients with sickle cell disease across the life span at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and at the Hematology Clinic at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Its sickle cell specialists are nationally and internationally renowned for patient care and research.

The sickle cell research program includes over 40 faculty and staff members, with strong expertise in laboratory and clinical-translational research. The sickle cell laboratory research effort is centered at the Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, Blood and Vascular Medicine Institute (VMI), which houses six research centers and six research core facilities, supported by a partnership with the Institute for Transfusion Medicine (ITxM) and the Hemophilia Center of Western Pennsylvania. The local sickle cell clinical research effort is coordinated by UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Clinical Protocol and Data Management. The program also leads multicenter clinical trials with biostatistical, data management and web service support from the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Health Care Data Center.

The sickle cell research program has ongoing grant-funded research projects in pain, acute lung disease, pulmonary hypertension and brain function. Its members have published nearly 400 articles on sickle cell disease, with grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, American Society of Hematology, Bayer Pharmaceuticals and others. They are frequent speakers at national and international conferences, reviewers for NIH study sections, and consultants for the pharmaceutical industry.

The sickle cell program also has a growing global impact though the Center for Translational and International Hematology, which has launched a major NIH-funded program in Africa, the H3Africa Collaborative Center. The Center for Translational and International Hematology also runs the Pittsburgh Intensive Training in Hematology Research, the first NIH R25-funded program of its kind focused on Experimental Hematology, Hemolysis Related Vascular Biology, and Sickle Cell Disease.