Skip to main content
Image of a sickle cell clot

Rafal Pawlinski, PhD, the Lenvil Lee Rothrock Distinguished Professor of Medicine, and Nigel Key, MD, the Harold R. Roberts Distinguished Professor, both professors in the department of medicine’s division of hematology and members of the UNC Blood Research Center, have been awarded a $2.8 million, 4-year R01 grant from the NIH-NHLBI to investigate the mechanism of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in sickle cell disease (SCD).

Recent epidemiologic data have established that individuals with SCD are at significantly increased risk of VTE, with an unusually high incidence of pulmonary emboli. The researchers will investigate whether unique properties of red blood cells (RBCs) in SCD contribute to the formation of unstable venous clots.

Rafal Pawlinski, PhD, and Nigel Key, MD

More broadly, these studies are expected to contribute new insights into the role of cellular components in VTE.