Sergey Shevkoplyas, Ph.D.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most common blood disorders causing life-long morbidity and premature mortality. More than 300,000 children are born each year with SCD worldwide, with nearly 75% of all affected births occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. A majority of children born with SCD in sub-Saharan Africa die before reaching the age of five. Most of these deaths could be prevented through simple and inexpensive prophylaxis if SCD is diagnosed early in life. Screening children for SCD with conventional laboratory methods is impractical in low-income developing countries because of the prohibitive cost and complexity of these methods. In this talk I will describe our recent work towards development and commercialization of a simple and inexpensive, paper-based test for point of care diagnostics of SCD in resource-limited settings.