Hematology Program

Sickle Cell Disease

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital provides comprehensive treatment for children with sickle cell disease. St. Jude has one of the largest sickle cell programs in the country; with more than 750 patients. The clinics are divided into “age-specific” clinics, ranging from Infant/Toddler clinic; School-age clinic; and Teen clinic. St. Jude treats children with sickle cell disease from birth through age eighteen (18) years of age.


St. Jude has several labs that perform research on sickle cell disease. These labs perform basic science and translational research. Basic science involves theorectical research; which is conducted in the lab. Translational research brings the research from the lab to the patient. In 2008, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute named St. Jude as one of 12 institutions nationwide to participate in the Basic and Translational Research Program (BTRP) on sickle cell disease. The BTRP funded 2 projects at St. Jude under this program.

Additionally, St. Jude has clinical trials. Clinical trials are aimed at finding better ways to treat children with sickle cell disease. Some of the major clinical trials at St. Jude include:


St. Jude is one of the largest publishers of educational literature for sickle cell disease. The materials are designed for a diverse audience; including parents, children, educators and healthcare professionals. (See Order Literature Online.) St. Jude researchers have published several hundred articles about sickle cell disease during the past 20 years. These articles are published in peer review journals. (See Hematology Research Publications ).

Education, Counseling and STARR Programs

St. Jude is a leader in the development of sickle cell education and counseling programs. Our programs have been published and provided to other sickle cell programs throughout the country. The academic coordinators in the Success Through Academics, Resources and Research (STARR) Program work closely with parents; and provide education about 504 and Individualized Education Plans (IEP) for their children. Additionally, STARR has a Reading Intervention Project which provides reading interventions to children with delayed language development. (See Hematology's STARR Program.)


St. Jude sponsors a week-long camp at the Center for Courageous Kids each year for approximately 60-70 children with sickle cell disease. The mission of the camp is to provide a fun, safe overnight camp experience for children with sickle cell disease.

Sickle Cell Disease Questions and Answers

We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about sickle cell disease; these include questions about complications of the disease and some general questions about sickle cell disease. (See About Sickle Cell Disease.)