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Hopkins sickle cell research lauded

Pioneering research led by Johns Hopkins scientists on the use of partially matched bone marrow transplants to wipe out hereditary sickle cell disease has been selected as one of the Top 10 Clinical Research Achievements of 2012 by the Clinical Research Forum.

The success of a preliminary clinical trial of the so-called haploidentical, or half-identical, transplants has the potential to bring curative transplants to a majority of sickle cell patients who need them, eliminating painful and debilitating symptoms and the need for a lifetime of pain medications and blood transfusions.

Sickle cell disease is a hereditary illness in which a genetic defect in hemoglobin causes misshapen red blood cells and other defects that ultimately restrict oxygen-rich blood flow into various organs.

On behalf of the research team, Dr. Robert A. Brodsky, the Johns Hopkins Family Professor of Medicine in Oncology and director of the Division of Hematology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is to receive the award and an additional honor, the Distinguished Clinical Research Achievement Award, at a ceremony on Thursday during the Clinical Research Forum annual meeting in Washington, D.C.