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“Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) causes immense suffering in patients.  When you see a patient in (sickle cell) crisis, you just want to do something.”

John Tisdale, M.D. is a physician scientist who has spent his career working with Sickle Cell Disease. Rather than simply focus on seeing patients, Dr. Tisdale splits his time between the lab and seeing patients. Working at NIH, Dr. Tisdale can work on something in the lab and then go straight to the clinic and see how it works in humans.

The clinical research that Dr. Tisdale conducts is multifaceted and intertwined. He has numerous different trials going on in his lab simultaneously. The results from one – positive or negative – often lead to the next set of questions and investigations.

Focused on the impact of stem cell transplant on Sickle Cell Disease, Dr. Tisdale and his team work tirelessly. Their active clinical trials include working to make stem cell transplants less toxic, determining the effectiveness of whole and half matches for transplants, developing gene therapy protocols and specialized harvesting of bone marrow. The opportunity that NIH affords to do this work is not found elsewhere.

For patients, having a dedicated NIH branch for Sickle Cell Disease is a minor miracle. In very few places around the globe is Sickle Cell Disease given this kind of attention.  At NIH, there is a waiting list for Dr. Tisdale’s clinical trials.

John Tisdale, MD, is Senior Investigator at the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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