Sickle Cell Disease and Pregnancy Outcomes March 24, 2022
Georgina Boateng (DO ‘25)
Georgina Boateng (DO ‘25) graduated from East Carolina University in 2018, majoring
in biology with a minor in neuroscience.
What do you study?
My research focuses on the impact of sickle cell disease (SCD) on pregnancy outcomes.
Evidence has shown that SCD can have a negative impact on both the mother and unborn
fetus during pregnancy. Pregnant women with SCD appear to be more likely to experience
complications when compared to those without SCD. These complications can include
anemia in mothers, premature birth, urinary infection, prenatal demise/stillborn and
increased frequency of pain crisis. My research examines the degree of impact of SCD
on maternal morbidity and pregnancy outcomes.
What prompted you to pursue research?
My interest in research was motivated by being a sickle cell patient myself. I wanted
to learn more about it and use that knowledge to help others like me improve their
quality of life. As I did that, I became interested in other areas of research, all in hopes of one day using that information to improve the quality of life for
What experience do you have conducting research?
During undergraduate studies and following graduation, I researched Human T-cell Leukemia
Virus Type 1 for two years. I then participated in another research for four more
years, serving as a stakeholder for the National Institute of Health Research, Sickle Cell Disease Implementation Consortium. Now, I am a researcher for the NIH All of Us research program. I will be presenting on the impact SCD has on pregnancy at an upcoming
What are your responsibilities in this research project?
This is an independent research project, so I am responsible for all aspects of the
project. My responsibilities include putting together my data for the research and
analyzing the data; writing the different sections (eg: abstract, introduction, results
and conclusion) of the research so I can put them on my poster; meeting with my PI
to discuss my research paper and making sure that my data supports that. I also have
check-in meetings on Sundays to meet with the NIH All of Us staff.
What is the broader impact of your research? How does your research affect healthcare/health
My research will be examining if SCD has a negative impact on pregnancy. This question
is important to me because as a female and a sickle cell patient myself, I believe
it is very important to know the dangers that come with having sickle cell. Not only
will this research benefit me, but it further increases physician awareness, leading
to better healthcare plans for SCD expecting mothers. I hope to raise awareness of
this issue at hand. With the results that I will attain for this research, I hope
to shine a light on how to combat maternal mortality for sickle cell patients.
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