Prof. Guindo is a Professor of Hematology at the University of Bamako, and in addition to the PharmD degree, he obtained a PhD from the University of London, did post-doctoral training in the NIAID Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research under Dr Thomas E. Wellems. He is a member of French society of hematology and an allied member of American society of hematology. In his current role he leads all operations of the CRLD and also serves as an advocate for sickle cell disease care, research and education to the national government. He has a broad background in hematology, with specific training and expertise in red blood cell disorders and screening research and data analysis on sickle cell disease. His research includes sickle cell disease, G6PD deficiency and infections. The purpose of this grant is to improve the quality and duration of life of African people living with sickle cell disease.

Prof. Guindo 's early publications directly addressed the afforded protection of sickle cell gene, hemoglobin C and G6PD deficiency against severe malaria and the mechanism by which that protection occurs. These publications found that sickle cell gene and HbC are associated with high protection against severe malaria by reducing infected erythrocytes cytoadherence to the vascular endothelium and the abnormal display of knobs on erythrocyte containing HbC. These results of natural protection against malaria have changed the design of any malaria vaccine trials. In addition to the contributions described above, with a team of collaborators, he directly documented the issue of the physiopathology of sickle cell disease, transfusion safety, infection in sickle cell disease and the referral values in hematology in Mali. These work allowed to shed light on the field of research in hematology as well as in improving the quality of care.

Mr. Sarro is an associate investigator at the Sickle cell disease Center in Bamako Mali (CRLD). As Pharmacist first and then Epidemiologist, he is in charge of managing data in CRLD.

Dr Ackerman is an NIH-Lasker Clinical Research Scholar, Clinical Tenure Track Investigator, and Chief of the Physiology Unit within the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The Physiology Unit studies the mechanisms by which endothelial alpha globin regulates signaling between endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells in human resistance arteries. We seek to understand how common structural variants in the human alpha globin gene loci (i) affect expression of alpha globin in the vascular endothelium; (ii) alter the arterial response to vasoactive stimuli; and (iii) modify susceptibility to vascular complications of chronic and infectious diseases. These lines of investigation offer an opportunity to explore the long-held observations that alpha globin gene deletions reduce the severity of malaria infection and delay or prevent the vascular complications of sickle cell anemia. By understanding how alpha globin regulates cell-cell signaling in the vessel wall, we may be able to develop new strategies to modulate human arterial function and potentially treat or prevent vascular diseases.

Dr Ackerman's research training began under the mentorship of Stephen Kaattari at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. There he studied the host response to infection with the apicomplexan parasite Perkinsus marinus, a cause of hemolytic anemia in the Eastern oyster. He went on to study human genetic variation in cytokine genes (TNF, IL-8) and the impact of that variation on susceptibility to inflammatory and infectious diseases with Dominic Kwiatkowski at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford. He earned a medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed an Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He came to the NIH Clinical Center as a Clinical Fellow in the Critical Care Medicine Department and became board certified in Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. In 2011, he was awarded a NIAID Transitional Program in Clinical Research Award to study the metabolic determinants of nitric oxide signaling and endothelial dysfunction in severe malaria. He identified reduced arginine synthesis, impaired clearance of methylarginines, and oxidation of tetrahydrobiopterin as contributors to impaired nitric oxide signaling in severe malaria. He began his tenure-track work on endothelial alpha globin in the NHLBI Sickle Cell Branch in 2014. He moved to the NIAID Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research in 2017 to expand his clinical research program at the NIH Clinical Center and to engage with the NIAID International Centers for Excellence in Research.

Dr Ackerman has mentored students and fellows at all levels of training. He seeks to provide opportunities for individuals from backgrounds that have previously been underrepresented in science by mentoring trainees in the NIH Academy Enrichment Program and the Intramural NIAID Research Opportunity program. He serves as an Advisor in the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program and on the selection committee for the Malaria Research Program's Collaborative Fellowship.

Awards: Dr Ackerman was named an NIH-Lasker Clinical Research Scholar in 2014. He received the NIAID Mentor of the Year Award in 2014 and the NHLBI Director's Learning Environment Award in 2017.

SPARCo Mali Member: Dr. Rulh Parker (Pneumologist)

Dr. Ruhl is a pulmonologist in the Physiology Unit, Laboratory for Malaria and Vector Research, NIAID and the Pulmonary Branch, NHLBI. She is the team leader for clinical research efforts within a translational research program focused on the role of alpha thalassemia in vascular disease, including the effects of alpha globin gene variants on renal function, malaria and in people living with sickle cell disease. She is screening subjects for variations in alpha globin gene variants and collecting biospecimens in order to identify and describe the underlying changes in pathophysiology, including vascular phenotypes, based on alpha globin gene variants.

Dr. Ruhl is engaged in population health studies to evaluate potential impacts of alpha globin gene variants on several health outcome measures in large regional and national cohort studies. She serves on the Pulmonary Consult Service and routinely sees patients in the Sickle Cell Program at the NIH Clinical Center. Dr. Ruhl was Co-Chair and co-first author of the 2019 Official American Thoracic Society (ATS) Clinical and Research Priorities in Sickle Cell Lung Disease Workshop Report, which brought together 34 multi-disciplinary international experts in sickle cell lung disease. She has also been Co-Chair of several other ATS efforts including a symposium and Post-graduate course on sickle cell lung disease. Dr. Ruhl attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed internal medicine training in the Osler Medical Residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She completed a combined fellowship in critical care medicine at the NIH Clinical Center and pulmonary medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and received a Master of Health Sciences from the Duke University School of Medicine.

SPARCo Mali Member: Prof Mounirou Baby (Hematologist)
SPARCo Mali Member: Dr Mariam Kanta (Pediatrician)
SPARCo Mali Member: Dr Boubacri A Touré (Physician)