Our Research


Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a chronic condition that prevents red blood cells from delivering oxygen to organs and tissues throughout the body. Red blood cells will take on a rigid, sickle cell shape, prone to clumping and obstructing the regular flow of blood and oxygen, causing painful episodes known as a vaso-occlusive crisis.

Studies demonstrate the transition from pediatric to adult care is a critical period impacting the quality of life and life expectancy. In Ontario, the transition from pediatric to adult care occurs at age 18. SCD patient data from the United States have reported an increased mortality rate among patients between the ages of 16-24, which coincides with the time of transition from pediatric to adult care.

Previous studies conducted with youth with SCD, and their families/caregivers revealed that this transitionary period comes with several significant challenges that drastically impact the trajectory of their quality of life and make the daily management of SCD extremely difficult. 


We will use a co-design and participatory research methodology to develop an intervention to support youth with SCD transitioning from pediatric to adult care. Our team has partnered with the Board Members of the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO) to plan for the implementation and evaluation of the intervention beyond the Capstone project. We will be using the Consolidated Framework for Implementing Research (CFIR) to evaluate the intervention. 


We will recruit 5-10 participants from the SCAGO network. They are composed of youth with SCD, parents and caregivers of youth with SCD, and healthcare professionals. 

Sessions & Workshops

We will conduct five sessions, developed using the Toronto Translational Framework, with a total of two workshops conducted with participants: 1) Frame the context and 2) Ideate and select an intervention. 

Iterative Design

We will continually seek feedback from participants and iterate to improve the design and develop an intervention that addresses the needs of transitioning youth with SCD. 


The transition from pediatric to adult care for youth with SCD can be eased through an intervention that will support them in becoming transition ready. This is in line with the vision of the Translational Research Program (TRP) to “[a]pply (scientific) knowledge to improve medicine, health & care!” 

To date, our team


TRP Students Receive the 2022 SCAGO Young Researchers’ Award

TRP | December 14, 2022 - The Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO) announces recipients of the 2022 Young Researcher’s Award Program (YRAP), a team of Masters students at the University of Toronto’s Translational Research Program: Geil Astorga, Fairuz Karim, Peola Ellis, Janine Noorloos, and Jaspreet Randhawa. READ THE STORY

The Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario Presents the 2022 Young Researchers’ Award Recipients

SCAGO | April 1, 2022 - At the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario, we prioritize improving the health and quality of life of all individuals with sickle cell disease, including through innovative research. To continue making strides towards this goal, each year we award a grant to a sickle cell disease-related research project led by bright-minded students through our Young Researchers’ Award Program. READ THE STORY


Transition from Pediatric to Adult Care: Development of an App for Family- and Patient-Centred Care in Sickle Cell Disease

Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology Research Conference and Product Show, April 28, 2022, Toronto, ON