sickle cell disease

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of traveling to Washington, DC to film on set at Al Jazeera for a live television program that engaged a global discussion on sickle cell anemia, its perils and the advances in gene therapy that are showing great promise for this genetic disease. 

The host of the program is Femi Oke and the digital co-host is Malika Bilal (pictured with me). Questions were fielded from around the world utilizing various social media platforms as the show was not only streamed live on The Stream and Al Jazeera English television, but is re-aired on Al Jazeera media networks worldwide.

You can check it out above...

A number of recent headlines imply a case study just published in the New England Journal of Medicine proves that gene therapy has cured sickle cell disease—a genetic disorder that incurs tremendous pain, suffering and diminished life expectancy. Here, we will unpack the significance of the researchers’ findings.

First, let’s address why this news could be so groundbreaking to those afflicted and their loved ones.

Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited condition that causes a mutated hemoglobin—the protein within red blood cells (RBCs) that carries oxygen for delivery to vital tissues. Oxygen feeds our organs so they can stay healthy and perform their respective jobs. This Hemoglobin S (aka Sickle...

sickle_cell_anemiaA small study conducted by the National Institutes of Health shows bone marrow transplantation as an effective means to treat severe sickle cell anemia. The disease, which is prevalent among people of African descent, affects about 100,000 people (Afro-Americans, by and large) in the United States and millions across the world. Sickle cell anemia is a genetic condition that targets oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in red blood cells, producing abnormal crescent shaped or sickle...