Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

News and Events

UT Dallas Professor Receives Appointment To National Sickle Cell Disease Association

RICHARDSON, Texas (Nov. 20, 2006) — Dr. Betty Pace, director of the Sickle Cell Disease Research Center at The University of Texas at Dallas, is the new chief medical officer for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Inc.

“SCDAA is fortunate to have someone of Dr. Pace’s caliber and stature in the sickle cell community to take the helm,” said Dr. Willarda V. Edwards, president and chief operating officer of the national organization. Edwards said Pace brings knowledge and experience as a “leader for a large basic research and teaching laboratory focused on globin gene regulation and drug discovery for sickle cell disease.

Pace replaces Dr. Dorothy C. Moore, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and director of immunology and diagnostic immunology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

In her new role, Pace will speak on health, scientific and medical matters of public concern; chair the organization’s Medical and Research Advisory Committee; and serve as advisor on program development, fund raising and public relations. As chairperson of the advisory committee, she will oversee content development of public and professional educational materials w and approve of medical literature and official statements.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disease that can cause serious health problems – some leading to death – among victims, most of whom are African-American or other individuals of African descent. It is estimated that eight percent of African-Americans are carriers of the sickle cell gene and are said to have sickle cell trait. Approximately two out of every 1,000 African-Americans suffer from the disease.

Pace received her medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. After completing post doctoral training in medical genetics at the University of Washington with world-renowned hemoglobin researcher Dr. George Stamatoyannopoulos, she joined the faculty at the University of South Alabama. Pace was recruited to the University of Texas at Dallas in January 2003 and also serves as a professor in university’s Department of Molecular and Cell Biology.

For the past 12 years, the Pace laboratory has primarily studied the developmental regulation of Her groundbreaking research won her recognition in 2003 as one of the country’s “Brilliant 10” scientists – a national honor awarded annually by Popular Science Magazine to 10 leading scientists performing “mind bending” research.

Pace’s most recent accomplishments include providing leadership as editor of a major textbook, Renaissance of Sickle Cell Disease Research in the Genome Era. More than 40 authors from government officials to researchers and community leaders contributed to the work.


For more than 30 years, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and its 100-plus member organizations and affiliates, located in more than 38 states, have demonstrated how community-based organizations can work as partners with local and state government agencies in the advancement of national health care objectives. In collaboration with member and other stakeholder organizations, national efforts of SCDAA involve five broad categories: services for families affected with sickle cell disease, community outreach, public health education, professional health education and medical research. For more information, call 800-421-8453 or visit

News Contact: Kristine Hughes, UTD, (972) 883-4431, [email protected]

  • Updated: November 20, 2006