The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has announced grants totaling $5 million to six projects focused on the treatment of sickle cell disease.
Patients with sickle cell disease, the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States, carry dysfunctional red blood cells that alter regular blood flow, causing acute pain, organ damage, and, often, a significantly reduced lifespan. Grants awarded through the second Sickle Cell Disease/Advancing Cures competition will support research on drug-like molecules, potential drug targets, and gene editing and its clinical applications.
Announced during National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, the awards include support for Daniel E. Bauer and Alex Kentsis (Dana-Farber/Boston Children's and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center); James J. Bieker and Jeffrey A. Glassberg (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai); Punam Malik (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center); Matthew H. Porteus (Stanford University School of Medicine); Stuart H. Orkin (Dana-Farber/Boston Children's); and Shuaiying Cui (Boston Medical Center).
"With the rise of CRISPR gene editing and many other promising developments, this is an exciting time for sickle cell disease research and an opportunity to make important strides toward delivering a cure," said DDCF medical research program director Betsy Myers. "We are thrilled to support these clinical researchers as they harness the power of recent progress in the field in efforts to develop new ways to advance gene therapies and restore red blood cell function."