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The prestigious grant totaling $6.3M was awarded to Dr. Yazdanbakhsh for her exceptional research in sickle cell disease and transfusion therapy

New York, NY – The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has given the prestigious Outstanding Investigator Award to Karina Yazdanbakhsh, PhD, Vice President and Director of Research Development at the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center. This award recognizes individuals with outstanding contributions in their field, which Dr. Yazdanbakhsh has demonstrated through her sickle cell disease and transfusion therapy research.

“Dr. Yazdanbakhsh is outstanding and her investigations are truly cutting-edge and impactful. I am very pleased that the NHLBI recognized her and her work with the Outstanding Investigator Award,” said Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, President and CEO, New York Blood Center. “We’re proud of Dr. Yazdanbakhsh and her team for their groundbreaking findings in sickle cell therapies which will lead to improved and potentially novel therapies for patients suffering from sickle cell disease.”

The award provides Dr. Yazdanbakhsh and her team with $6.3 million over seven years to advance our understanding of how the immune system contributes to a range of health problems in patients with sickle cell disease ranging from transfusion reactions to organ failure. More specifically, Dr. Yazdanbakhsh’s research team has shown a previously unappreciated role of immune cells called monocytes and their subsets in protecting the blood vessels and organs from damage.

“Harnessing the correct monocyte subset may offer a solution to the long-standing problems of blood flow in sickle cell disease and therefore preserve the patients’ organs from damage,” said Karina Yazdanbakhsh, PhD, Vice President and Director of Research Development at the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center. “This therapeutic treatment has the power to help the millions of people around the world who suffer from sickle cell disease. We’re very thankful to NHLBI for the recognition and their generous award.”