Medical Research

Sickle Cell Disease/Advancing Cures


The Doris Duke Sickle Cell Disease/Advancing Cures award provides grants to advance curative approaches for sickle cell disease including, gene modification and drug therapies to restore hemoglobin function.

Rationale & History

Research over the past five decades has resulted in treatments for sickle cell disease treatments that have decreased childhood mortality and improved patients’ disease management options for patients with sickle cell disease. However, further efforts are needed to develop approaches that aim to attack the disease at its core by safely and sustainably restoring hemoglobin function. The Sickle Cell Disease/Advancing Cures award was created to harness promising scientific advances toward restoring hemoglobin function and enable their development into clinically feasible therapies and ultimately practical use.

Award Details 

The foundation seeks to support about eight, three-year research projects through Sickle Cell Disease/Advancing Cures awards. Flexible, annual direct-cost amounts of $150,000 to $300,000 will be considered, plus a 10 percent annual indirect cost allowance. This program aims to support clinical research that will:

  • Advance gene therapies for sickle cell disease into the clinic, including gene addition and genome editing.
  • Build on globin regulatory mechanisms to restore red blood cell function.

For details, view the Request for Applications & Application Instructions here.

In keeping with the wishes expressed in Doris Duke's will, experiments that use animals or primary tissues derived from animals will not be supported by this program.

Key Dates

Full Proposals Due May 25, 2017 (3 p.m. ET)
Notice of Award End of July 2017
Award Start Date September 1, 2017

Eligibility Requirements

For a full explanation of the eligibility requirements, view the Request for Applications here.

Principal investigators submitting an application must:

  • Hold an advanced doctoral degree (Ph.D., M.D., M.D./Ph.D., D.O., or equivalent degree). 
  • Have a full-time faculty rank appointment (instructor, assistant professor, associate professor or professor) at an academic institution or equivalent position in a nonprofit research organization. The institution must be located in the U.S. 
  • Be affiliated with a U.S.-based institution that is exempt from federal income taxation as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the "Code"), as amended, and must not be a private foundation or a Type III supporting organization as defined in Section 509(a) of the Code. Applicants do not have to be U.S. citizens.
  • Propose a research project that meets DDCF’s definition of clinical research
  • Propose a research project that does not utilize animals or primary tissues derived from animals.
  • Submit only one application as principal investigator. An investigator may, however, be considered part of the key personnel of another application.

Application Process

Full applications must be submitted by the deadline, May 25, 2017, 3 p.m. ET, using the foundation’s online application site. Note that a letter of intent is not required.

Applicants will need the tax ID of the institution that would receive the grant in order to access the online application form. DDCF can award grants only to institutions that can document their status as a 501(c)(3) organization as described by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information regarding tax status.

Access the application site here.


Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQs, email with “2017 SCD/AC-[Last name]” as the subject line.

We advise that all inquiries be sent via email. No phone calls, please, as we cannot guarantee that all calls will receive an immediate response.

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