Skip to Main ContentSkip to Footer

Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease Center of Excellence

The Vanderbilt-Meharry Center of Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease features experts from many medical fields to provide you help and healing. Our pediatric and adult sickle cell specialists offer you care based on research and experience. We treat your symptoms and determine if you are a candidate for therapies that can lead to a cure. We are connected to everything Vanderbilt offers. This means we can help you face life with sickle cell disease from every angle - with medical, mental and social support.

Conditions We Treat

We treat and help manage sickle cell disease and related symptoms and complications, including:

  • checkmark icon
  • checkmark icon
    Hemoglobin SS
  • checkmark icon
    Hemoglobin SC
  • checkmark icon
    Hemoglobin S/beta-thalassemia plus
  • checkmark icon
    Hemoglobin SD
  • checkmark icon
    Hemoglobin S/beta-thalassemia zero
  • checkmark icon
    Hemoglobin SO-Arab
  • checkmark icon

Meet Your Care Team

Michael R. Debaun

Michael R. DebaunMD, MPH

    Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Sickle Cell Disease
Adetola A. Kassim
star empty iconstar empty iconstar empty iconstar empty iconstar empty iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon

Adetola A. KassimMD

    Bone Marrow Transplant, Cancer, Hematologic Cancer, Hematology, Hematology/Oncology, Leukemia, Acute and Chronic, Stem Cell Transplant
Emmanuel J. Volanakis

Emmanuel J. VolanakisMD

    Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Sickle Cell Disease
Karina L. Wilkerson
star empty iconstar empty iconstar empty iconstar empty iconstar empty iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon

Karina L. WilkersonNP


Why Choose Sickle Cell Disease Care at Vanderbilt

  • Team approach

    We create our strategy to manage your sickle cell disease as a team. We do this through joint conferences, meetings and research both inside and outside Vanderbilt.

  • Whole-life care

    We work closely with doctors at the pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Center of Excellence at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. Our transition program includes mentoring to help children with sickle cell disease prepare for adult life and adult care. We teach them about healthcare coverage challenges, age-related complications and the need for specialty referrals.

  • Collaborative care

    We work with experts in other regional hospitals to improve your care. Our partners include doctors at Meharry Medical Center, Tennessee Oncology, Cherokee Health System, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, LeBonheur Children's Hospital and Methodist University Hospital. At our monthly joint case conferences, we discuss sickle cell cases and work toward better care solutions. Our connection to Vanderbilt Transplant offers bone marrow transplantation as a possible cure for sickle cell disease.

  • Personalized care

    Our case managers help you face the psycho-social effects of sickle cell disease, such as maintaining relationships and seeking and retaining employment. We also provide help and advice with insurance and insurability. Through the Phi Beta Pi Rehabilitation Institute at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, we provide vocational counseling if you are unable to perform your previous job. We can also connect you with access to ambulatory devices so you can continue with work and self-care.

  • Medical home

    A medical home is more than a basic clinic. It is a place where patients and families develop a lifelong relationship with doctors, nurses, and staff. The Center of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease brings together primary care providers and specialists from local institutions to treat individuals with sickle cell disease under one roof. 

  • Innovative research

    Vanderbilt is involved in two kinds of transplant-based research efforts for sickle cell disease, as well as other therapeutic and non-therapeutic research. Our goal is to provide you with even more treatment options in the near future and improve treatments already available.

Center of Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease

Tests, Treatments and Services

We offer a full range of tests, treatments and services, including:

  • checkmark icon
    Hydroxyurea therapy
  • checkmark icon
    L-glutamine therapy
  • checkmark icon
    Chronic transfusion program
  • checkmark icon