The Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute (LFKRI) at the New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) has a long-standing commitment to patients with sickle cell disease. We not only serve their transfusion needs but also develop novel treatments, including stem cell therapies. This inherited red cell disorder is most common among African Americans, affecting an estimated 10,000 New Yorkers, 100,000 in the U.S., and millions worldwide. The condition alters the oxygen-carrying red blood cells, causing them to clog small blood vessels. As a result, patients suffer excruciating pain episodes, and the lack of oxygen delivery to the tissues causes severe damage to their major organs. Even in developed countries such as the U.S., life expectancy for sickle cell disease patients is 20-30 years shorter than those without sickle cell disease.
Despite the prevalence of this devastating disease, it has been under-researched, and the medical community currently has a limited understanding of the complex biological processes that lead to disease complications.
The sickle cell disease research at LFKRI at NYBCe is devoted to preventing and treating sickle cell complications, including pain episodes, tissue injury, and developing novel strategies to help cure the disease through stem cell transplantation and gene therapy. Additionally, NYBCe’s blood services are critical for treating sickle cell disease patients who often need transfusions every few weeks and often require specific blood types.