Dr. Philippe Leboulch, a highly regarded professor and researcher at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, will give a talk at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) on Friday, Sept. 30, about the possibility of gene therapy cures for sickle cell disease. The lecture will be held at 3:15 p.m. in UTD’s McDermott Library Auditorium, and a question and answer session will follow.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects the hemoglobin protein found in red blood cells. In persons with the disease, the red blood cells become sickle, or crescent, shaped due to the abnormal hemoglobin and often become lodged in blood vessels. The lack of blood flow as a result of these blockages can result in tissue damage, severe recurrent pain, strokes and organ damage.
Leboulch, along with a team of researchers, successfully created a gene therapy cure in a sickle cell diseased mouse. A main goal of his research is to gain understanding of the basic principles that govern the chromosomal integration and regulation of genetic structures.
Leboulch comes to UTD as a guest of the university’s Sickle Cell Disease Research Center, which is participating in a National Sickle Cell Awareness Month campaign being held throughout the country during the month of September. The goal of the effort, whose theme is “Discover the Cure,” is to call attention to the effects of sickle cell disease and highlight the efforts to find a cure.
For more information about the lecture, please call UTD’s Sickle Cell Disease Research Center at 972-883-6230.