Dr Julie Makani (1995 Commonwealth Shared Scholar from Tanzania, Diploma in Internal Medicine, Imperial College London) has won the Royal Society Pfizer Award 2011 for her research into sickle cell disease. She will receive £60,000 towards a 12-month study which aims to provide a better understanding of the molecular, genetic and environmental mechanisms of sickle cell disease.

Julie is based in the Haematology Department at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania. Her work has shown that anaemia is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in SCD in Tanzania. She has developed a framework to conduct a clinical trial of Hydroxyurea – a chemotherapy agent with potent effects on the bone marrow – in the treatment of anaemia in SCD.

A Senior Lecturer in the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Julie is also a consulting physician at Muhimbili National Hospital, and Clinical Research Fellow at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine. She is hopeful that the research will improve the diagnosis and treatment reducing the burden of anaemia for individuals and the wider community.