Dr. Helen Ranney, dies at 89

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One of the pioneers of sickle cell research recently passed. Dr. Ranney was a sickle cell researcher who developed the testing method for the sickle cell trait and gene that is still being used today. Dr. Ranney studied sickle-cell disease in the early 1950s, when researchers knew virtually nothing about genetics and DNA. Physicians knew the disease was inherited, but they had no way to tell whether specific parents were likely to transmit it to their children or a newborn would develop it.

Without her work, parents would not be able to know that their child had sickle cell. I probably still wouldn’t know what was causing this daily pain. So thank you Dr. Ranney, for your brilliant mind, and determination in researching and spreading sickle cell awareness thus far. Hopefully others will pick up where you left off.

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