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  1. Minority Health and Health Equity Research and Collaboration

Researcher Spotlight Maria Rios

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Maria Rios, Ph.D.

Research Biologist — Office of Blood Research and Review

Maria Rios, Ph.D., is a Research Biologist in the Office of Blood Research and Review in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER).  Dr. Rios received funding from OMHHE for her project, Developing Comprehensive Reference Panels for Blood Group Genotyping to Improve Transfusion Outcomes in Patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). Blood transfusions are a common treatment for SCD, reducing symptoms and prolonging life. However, blood transfusions can lead to antibody production, or alloimmunization, when the blood contains incompatible antigens and frequent blood transfusions can increase this risk. Alloimmunization causes destruction of cells and to prevent this complication transfused blood needs to be appropriately typed. Unfortunately, there is a lack of reference panels, or reagents controls. 

SCD is the most common genetic hematological disease among individuals of African descent. It affects millions of people worldwide and has high mortality and morbidity rates.  The World Health Organization considers SCD a major public health issue. This project aims to produce and provide reference reagents to the community to assist in patient care and improve outcomes. Funding from OMHHE has helped us to deliver on some of these unmet needs.

Additional information can be found on Featured Research and Principal Investigators.


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