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Sickle cell disease and its link to race focus of NJIT researcher at NIH event
Date:11/10/2010

The history of sickle cell disease in the 20th century and its link to race is the focus of a Nov. 16, 2010 talk at a national symposium by NJIT Associate Professor Stephen Pemberton, PhD, an expert on the history of diseases. Pemberton will speak and join a panel discussion at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, 100th anniversary symposium commemorating the discovery of sickle cell disease by Chicago physician James B. Herrick. The event will be webcast. For more, see Http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/meetings/James-Herrick-Sicklecell/index.htm

"Herrick's discovery of sickle cell disease was a pivotal moment in medical history," Pemberton said. "It stands as a crucial innovation in Western medicine as well as hematology, one that symbolized the power of microscopic analysis and the laboratory to give evidence to a distinctive form of anemia that physicians had previously failed to see among their African-American patients."

Pemberton, an historian, wrote The Troubled Dream of Genetic Medicine: Ethnicity and Innovation in Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis and Sickle Cell Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). The book http://www.njit.edu/news/2006/2006-205.php received the science award that same year from the Association of American Publishers. Next year, Johns Hopkins University Press will publish his forthcoming book: The Bleeding Disease: Hemophilia and the Unintended Consequences of Medical Progress.

Pemberton will participate in the symposium's opening panel discussion on historical and cultural perspectives. John Ruffin, director of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, will moderate. Pemberton's talk, "Sickle Cell Anemia and the Vexed Crossroads of Race and Disease in America," will examine health disparities of African Americans over the last
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Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
sheryl.m.weinstein@njit.edu
973-596-3436
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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