(New York, NY / October 16, 2017) – Mohandas Narla, DSc, Vice President of Research at New York Blood Center (NYBC), has been awarded a $6.5M Program Project grant over five years ($1.3M per year) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The project, entitled “Regulation of Human Erythropoiesis,” will address the developmental steps in red cell production in normal and disease states. Principal Investigators on the award include Dr. Patrick Gallagher from the Yale School of Medicine and Dr. Naomi Tayler from the University of Montpellier.
Dr. Narla has been the Director of the NIDDK-funded Program Project, which has had a continuous focus on red cell physiology and pathology since the 1970s. Over the years, his illustrious research program has led to improved understanding of the molecular and structural basis for red cell membrane disorders, developing detailed mechanistic insights into pathophysiology of Thalassemia’s and Sickle Cell Anemia, characterizing structural and functional changes induced in red cells by the malarial parasite, plasmodium falciparum, and more recently, molecular understanding of erythropoiesis with particular emphasis on disordered erythropoiesis in Diamond-Blackfan Anemia and Myelodysplasia.
He has continually renewed the present Project Program Grant for over 25 years, an admirable record of funding for transfusion medicine research. “This award is much deserved recognition of Dr. Narla’s continued outstanding contributions to red blood cell biology nationwide and around the world,” said NYBC President and CEO Christopher D. Hillyer, MD. “We are incredibly proud of his four decades of groundbreaking work to advance the frontiers of non-malignant hematology with impact on transfusion medicine research.”
Dr. Narla received his doctoral degree from Washington University in St. Louis in Chemical Engineering in 1971. After completing post-doctoral training in hematology research with Dr. Marcel Bessis at Institute of Cellular Pathology in Paris, he joined the faculty of the Department of Laboratory Medicine at University of California in 1976 where he spent 13 years. In 1989, he moved to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, to head the Hematopoiesis group. During his 12-year tenure at the Berkeley Laboratory, he also served as Interim Director of the Human Genome Project for three years. In 2001, he moved to NYBC.
For the last 40 years, Dr. Narla has served on numerous NIH review and advisory panels. He has been on the Executive Committee of the American Society of Hematology and served as the Chairperson of the Awards Committee. He was also an Associate Editor of Blood from 2003-2012 and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Blood Cells, Molecules and Diseases and sits on the Editorial Board of Biochemistry and Current Opinion in Hematology. He has authored some 380 peer-reviewed publications and 100 review articles and book chapters.
About New York Blood Center
Founded in 1964, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is a nonprofit organization that is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the world. NYBC, along with its partner organizations Community Blood Center of Kansas City, Missouri (CBC), Innovative Blood Resources (IBR), Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD), and Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC), collect approximately 4,000 units of blood products each day and serve local communities of more than 45 million people in the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT), Mid Atlantic area (PA, DE, MD), the Kansas City metropolitan area, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Southern New England. NYBC and its partners also provide a wide array of transfusion-related medical services, including Comprehensive Cell Solutions, the National Center for Blood Group Genomics, the National Cord Blood Program, and the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, which — among other milestones — developed the Hepatitis B vaccine and a patented solvent detergent plasma process innovating blood-purification technology worldwide.