NIH and CTSC Funding Awarded to Dr. Umut Gurkan

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Dr. Umut Gurkan

Congratulations to Umut Gurkan, PhD who has received a 90-day conceptualization and planning award from the National Health Institutes (NIH) National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Cure Sickle Cell initiative. The $79K project is titled Clinical Microfluidic Assessment of Red Blood Cell Adhesion, Deformability, Cellular Hemoglobin Distribution, Cellular Density, and Blood Rheology for Curative Therapies in Sickle Cell Disease. Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is leading a consortium of universities, including Stanford University, University of North Carolina, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. This award will be the basis for a full proposal to develop new clinical assays and biomarkers for curative therapies (gene editing, gene therapy) in sickle cell disease. 

Dr. Gurkan also received a CWRU Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) Annual Pilot award titled Microfluidic Blood Cell Adhesion Test for Anti-Adhesive Therapies. The goal of this 1-year, $49K project is to develop new blood assays based on red blood cell biomechanics for emerging targeted therapies that are being developed by major pharmaceutical companies.