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Integrative Global Research on Sickle Cell Disease

Integrative Global Research on Sickle Cell Disease



Project Objectives

The proposed research is the initial phase of a long-term endeavor to 1) Understand the separate and joint contributions of biological and non-biological factors to phenotypic variability in sickle cell disease (SCD) over the life-course and 2) Improve outcomes for people worldwide with sickle cell disease. Our multidisciplinary project team will comprise faculty and students from the US (Duke), Jamaica, Cameroon, and South Africa who will focus on specific-related tasks pertinent to their areas of expertise and interest, simultaneously integrating their parts into the whole. We will utilize existing clinical, social, environmental, genetic, and phenotypic data from a sampling frame of approximately 1036 children and 1480 adults with homozygous SCD (HbSS) in the US, Jamaica, and Cameroon.

This project will reconcile patient datasets from the three study sites, characterize relevant contextual dimensions of the three countries and conduct a proof-of concept study to evaluate and refine the preliminary conceptual framework. Students will contribute to the following expected deliverables: 1) a new holistic model and new set of criteria to assess the role of the possible multifactorial sources of SCD heterogeneity 2) hypotheses, preliminary data and manuscripts for future externally funded grants and 3) recommendations for attending to challenges and areas of need in relation to integrative global health research and clinical practice in SCD.

Project Opportunities

1-2 additional students: Undergraduate, graduate or professional students with strong interest and/or training in the following topic areas: African & African American Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Medicine, nursing, genomics, computational biology, statistics, Environmental health, global health, psychology and other relevant disciplines

Project Application Process

Please complete the Bass Central Application process, located here: https://bassconnections.duke.edu/content/common-application.

When you have completed that process, please send an email to Lysa.mackeen@duke.edu with the title of the project and "application completed" in the subject line.

Project Selection Criteria


Knowledge of French would be an asset but not required

Project Placements Available


Project Status


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