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Sickle cell disease

  • Season: Season 4
  • Posted On:

There's progress towards a cure.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder of the blood protein hemoglobin. It has multiple ways to impact the health of someone with the disease — with a hallmark symptom being excruciating chronic pain. The vast majority of people with sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease are Black. Until relatively recently, there has been only one drug to treat the disease.

On this week's program, host Seán Collins talks with Dr. Titilope Fasipe, co-director of the Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Program at Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Center in Houston about advances in both the treatment of sickle cell disease and progress toward a cure.

A transcript is available online.

To produce this episode, we collected stories from people living with sickle cell disease. We invite you to listen.

Andre Marcel Harris speaks with his sister Alexis Harris

Sijaama Branch talking with producer Scott Acord

Heather Avant in conversation with Bria Davis

Heather Avant is the Chair of the Community Input Panel with the NHLBI’s Cure Sickle Cell Initiative. You can get more information on curative therapies at


To learn more:

Sickle Cell & Thalasemmia Program (Texas Children's)

Sickle Cell Disease Coalition

A “Narcotics Contract” for a Patient With Sickle Cell Disease   Pediatrics / (the "care-seeking" article) 

Building access to care in adult sickle cell disease  Blood Advances

Cure Sickle Cell Initiative  NIH

Sickle Cell Gene Therapy Education Project   NIH

Sickle Cell Report   NASEM

Sickle Cell Data Collection   CDC

A Review of Sickle Cell Disease (and ReplyJAMA

Hospital Use and Mortality in Transition-Aged Patients With Sickle Cell Disease  Hospital Pediatrics

Still seeking balance in opioid management for acute sickle cell disease pain   Pediatric Blood & Cancer



  • Titilope Fasipe M.D. Ph.D.
  • Andre Marcel Harris
  • Alexis Harris
  • Sijaama Branch
  • Scott Acord
  • Heather Avant
  • Bria Davis
  • Seán Collins


  • thalassemia
  • sickle cell trait
  • blood disorders
  • pain management
  • race and medicine
  • sickle cell
  • sickle cell disease
  • hematology
  • african americans and medicine