Sickle Cell In Focus Conference 2018 Logo
Sickle Cell in Focus Conference 2018
October 22 - 23, 2018
Natcher Conference Center, Ruth L. Kirschstein Auditorium
45 Center Dr., NIH, Bethesda, MD 20894

After an exciting event in Kingston, Jamaica in October 2017, we are thrilled to announce that the 12th annual Sickle Cell in Focus (SCiF) conference will return to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on October 22-23, 2018.

SCiF is a two-day, intensive, educational update on sickle cell disease. This year’s conference will focus on management of the older adult patients, curative therapies, systems medicine, and will also include 2 debates on issues for which there are no clear answers.

This comprehensive and global exploration of the current medical trends and research results in sickle cell disease and thalassemia is geared towards consultants, trainees, doctors, healthcare professionals, and academics interested in hemoglobin disorders.

Event Details


The Organizing Committee invites you to submit an abstract of your scientific research to be considered for presentation during the Symposium poster session. The deadline for submission is August 31st. Notice of acceptance will be sent to authors by September 17th.

Preparation/Formatting Guidelines

  • Please use the format indicated here for your abstract’s file name: “Abstract_First Author’s Last Name”
  • Abstracts should be single-spaced and contain a maximum of 300 words.
  • Submissions should be in Word, using 12-point Arial font, with 1.5" margins (left, right, bottom, top).
  • The following information must appear at the top: Abstract title, names, and affiliations of authors with the name of first author in bold.


    John Fister1, Mary Zimmermann2, Peter Scherzer3.
    1Ohio State University, 2University of Wisconsin, and
    3University of Illinois, Champaign.

  • Abstracts should provide clear data and validated conclusions. They should consist of an introduction that presents the background of the study, a brief description of the methods employed, a summary of the results, and a statement of the conclusions.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit your abstracts via e-mail to

Sickle Cell in Focus 2018
October 22-23, 2018
Natcher Conference Center, Bethesda, MD 20894



Opening Remarks

Richard Childs
Clinical Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

9:05am - 10:05am
SESSION ONE: Sickle Cell Disease in 2018

9:05am - From birth to adults, has survival improved?
Kathryn Hassell
University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA

Optimizing current approved therapies

9:35am - Implementation research: Improving coverage of patients taking HU
Keith Hoots
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

10:05am - Translating Clinical Care to Developing Countries
Russell Ware
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medicine Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA


10:45pm - 11:45pm

10:45pm - Optimal disease management & health monitoring in older adults
Sophie Lanzkron
John Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

11:15pm - How we manage VTE’s in adults
Theodore Wun
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sacramento, CA, USA

11:45pm - Understanding pain and its mechanisms
Catherine Bushnell
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA


1:15pm - 1:45pm
SESSION TWO: SCD in Adults (cont.)

1:15pm - The many facets of sickle pain and its management
Samir Ballas
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

1:45pm - Management of liver complications in SCD
Abid Suddle
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

2:15pm - 3:15pm
SESSION THREE: Blood transfusion and iron overload

2:15pm - Presentation of the untransfusable patient
Arun Shet
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

2:45pm - Genotyping vs extended phenotyping
Connie Westhoff
New York Blood Center, New York, NY, USA

3:15pm - Iron overload in SCD, are we making progress?
John Porter
University College Hospital, London, UK


4:00pm - 4:40pm
DEBATE 1: Biomarkers in SCD: Just a lot of noise and handwaving

4:00pm - Pro: Davis Rees
King’s College London, London, UK

4:20pm - Con: Marilyn Telen
Duke School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA

4:40pm - Debate



Opening Remarks

Gary H. Gibbons
Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA

8:35am - 10:05am
SESSION FOUR: Unanswered questions and new frontiers in curative therapies

8:35am - Allo-HSCT: match related, match unrelated, cord blood, and haplo
Mark Walters
Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA

9:05am - Collecting HSCs, not a trivial business
John Tisdale
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

9:35am - Gene therapy-addition, correction
Dan Bauer
Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

10:05am - Update on gene addition therapy in SCD
Alexis Thompson
Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA


10:45am - 11:45am
SESSION FIVE: Cerebrovascular disease in SCD

10:45am - Cerebrovascular disease in SCD: In Children
Lori Jordan
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA

11:15am - Neurocognitive outcomes in SCD
Allison King
Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA

11:45am - Cerebral Hemodynamics in sickle cell disease and sickle cell carriers
Monica Hulbert
St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO, USA


1:15pm - 1:45pm
SESSION SIX: Inflammation and vascular injury in SCD

1:15pm - The common ground between SCD and Malaria
Tom Williams
KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya

1:45pm - Elevated inflammatory markers - Do they mean anything in sickle pathophysiology?
Nicola Conran
University of Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

2:15pm - 3:15pm
SESSION SEVEN: System medicine and Big Data: Transforming care of SCD to the 21st century

2:15pm - Complex genetics for a simple mutation-getting to the heart of the matter
Swee Lay Thein
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

2:45pm - A short cut to modeling SCD
George Karniadakis
Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

3:15pm - Machine Learning to predict cardiovascular phenotypes of SCD
Vandana Sachdev
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA


4:00pm - 4:40pm
DEBATE 2: Developing therapies for SCD - Makes more sense to target the root cause than all the downstream events

4:00pm - Pro: Yogen Saunthararajah
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

4:20pm - Con: Jane Little
UH Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA

4:40pm - Debate



Click here to register.

*Information collected will be used solely to create a participation roster and to invite attendees to future conferences.

There is no fee for registration.


National Institutes of Health

45 Center Dr.
Bethesda, MD 20894