Griffin P. Rodgers
National Institutes of Health
As a research investigator, Dr. Rodgers is widely recognized for his contributions to the development of hydroxyurea, the first effective—and now FDA approved—therapy for sickle cell anemia. Research has shown that people with sickle cell anemia who took hydroxyurea at the recommended dose had higher survival rates than those who took less than the recommended dose. Recently, Dr. Rodgers and his collaborators reported on a modified blood stem-cell transplant regimen that is highly effective in reversing sickle cell disease in adults and associated with relatively low toxicity. These results were replicated in 12 adults with sickle cell anemia who were being treated at the University of Illinois, and in 9 children with sickle cell anemia who were being treated at the University of Calgary. Dr. Rodgers continues to perform basic research to understand the molecular basis of how certain drugs induce gamma-globin gene expression. He is also engaged in investigations into targeting the delta-globin gene as an alternate strategy to therapies of the severe beta-globin disorders.