Red blood cell transfusions remain a lifesaving treatment, but patients may develop antibodies against the transfused blood that can result in a hemolytic transfusion reaction. In patients with sickle cell disease, these hemolytic transfusion reactions are encountered at a disproportionately higher level and may result in an unpredictable progression - from mild to life-threatening reactions, where both the transfused cells as well as the patients’ own cells are destroyed. The underlying molecular mechanism determining the severity of the complication is poorly understood posing a challenge for preventing or even effectively treating HTR.
Dr. Yazdanbakhsh will discuss the pathophysiology resulting in alloimmunization in patients with sickle cell disease who are at risk of developing a hemolytic transfusion reaction. She will further share the latest strategies to ensure positive transfusion outcomes by managing and preventing HTR.
Karina Yazdanbakhsh is the Vice President and Director of Research Development at the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center. Her current research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of transfusion-associated alloimmunization and cellular immune responses in blood disorders.
She is a recipient of several U.S. National Institute of Health grants, including an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood. She received her PhD in molecular biology from the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill, London, and her postdoctoral training in molecular and cellular immunology at Columbia University and The Rockefeller University before joining the New York Blood Center in 1996.