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Sickle Cell Specialist Wins National Hematology Award

Feb. 14, 2014

Amanda Brandow, DO, MS, assistant professor of pediatric hematology and oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), and an investigator at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Research Institute, is a recipient of the American Society of Hematology’s 2014 Scholar Award.

The award provides monetary support for fellows and junior faculty who are pursuing research careers. Dr. Brandow will receive $150,000 over a three- year period for her research into sickle cell disease. She also sees patients with sickle cell disease at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Sickle cell disease is a group of genetic disorders that affect hemoglobin, which is the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to the body. Patients with sickle cell disease have episodes of severe acute pain that require repeated emergency department visits and hospitalizations for intravenous narcotics to treat the pain. Despite pain being the most common complication of sickle cell disease, the mechanisms of sickle cell disease pain are not well understood which impedes ability to develop novel treatments or preventative measures.

Dr. Brandow is currently investigating the underlying neurobiology of sickle cell disease pain by focusing on changes in the peripheral nervous system and whether damage to those nerves may result in a type of pain called neuropathic pain. Specifically with this award, she is exploring the role of substance P, a neuropeptide, in sickle cell disease pain and whether ongoing neuroinflammation is a contributor to the thermal hypersensitivity that has been observed in patients with sickle cell disease.

Dr. Brandow received her doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove, Ill., in 2001. She went on to complete a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. She also earned a master of science degree in epidemiology from MCW.

The 2014 Scholar Awards are supported by corporate entities, individual donors, foundations, and funds committed by the American Society of Hematology.

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