Michael DeBaun
Last active: 7/26/2020


Dr. Michael R. DeBaun is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, JC Peterson Endowed Chair in Pediatric Pulmonology, Vice Chair of Clinical Research in Pediatrics and the Founder and Director of the Vanderbilt-Meharry-Matthew Walker Center for Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized physician–scientist whose research has resulted in fundamental advances in hematology and oncology including the genetics of cancer predisposition syndromes and the pathogenesis of stroke and lung disease in SCD. In the realm of cancer, Dr. DeBaun and Dr. Feinberg from John Hopkins University co-lead a genotype phenotype studies to determine the genetic epidemiology of Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome and the epigenetic mutations related to cancer. The team also demonstrated, for the first time, that in vitro fertilization is associated with cancer predisposition syndrome. His efforts in SCD are focused on two areas: First, the epidemiology, cognitive and clinical significance of strokes in children with sickle cell anemia. Dr. DeBaun was the Principal Investigator of the Silent Cerebral Infarct Transfusion Trial (N Engl J Med. 2014 Aug 21;371(8):699-710), a multi-institutional randomized control trial demonstrating that prophylactic blood transfusion therapy reduces the incidence of stroke and silent cerebral infarts recurrence in children with pre-existing silent cerebral infarcts. Most recently, Dr. DeBaun has led a team to conduct the first stroke trial in Nigeria and has received funding for this primary prevention trial (R21NS080639-01) and a training grant for the faculty participating in the trial (Doris Duke Charitable Foundation). Second, Dr. DeBaun has led a multi-disciplinary and translational team demonstrating that asthma increases the rate of pain, acute chest syndrome and premature death. Additionally, his team has implicated genetic variability in the heme oxygenase pathway as a potential basis for acute chest syndrome. Dr. DeBaun has mentored many bright medical students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows throughout his career. Several of his mentees have gone on to receive multiple investigator initiated federal grants and foundation awards. Dr. DeBaun is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and recipient of the 2014 Ernest Beutler Prize in Clinical Science from the American Society of Hematology.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. The intersection between asthma and acute chest syndrome in children with sickle-cell anaemia. DeBaun MR, Strunk RC (2016) Lancet 387(10037): 2545-53
    › Primary publication · 27353685 (PubMed) · PMC5041533 (PubMed Central)
  2. Improved Guideline Adherence With Integrated Sickle Cell Disease and Asthma Care. McClain BL, Ivy ZK, Bryant V, Rodeghier M, DeBaun MR (2016) Am J Prev Med 51(1 Suppl 1): S62-8
    › Primary publication · 27320468 (PubMed) · PMC6538258 (PubMed Central)
  3. Pattern of Lung Function Is Not Associated with Prior or Future Morbidity in Children with Sickle Cell Anemia. Cohen RT, Strunk RC, Rodeghier M, Rosen CL, Kirkham FJ, Kirkby J, DeBaun MR (2016) Ann Am Thorac Soc 13(8): 1314-23
    › Primary publication · 27300316 (PubMed) · PMC5021073 (PubMed Central)
  4. Silent cerebral infarcts and cerebral aneurysms are prevalent in adults with sickle cell anemia. Kassim AA, Pruthi S, Day M, Rodeghier M, Gindville MC, Brodsky MA, DeBaun MR, Jordan LC (2016) Blood 127(16): 2038-40
    › Primary publication · 26941400 (PubMed)
  5. Central nervous system complications and management in sickle cell disease. DeBaun MR, Kirkham FJ (2016) Blood 127(7): 829-38
    › Primary publication · 26758917 (PubMed)
  6. New option for primary stroke prevention in sickle cell anaemia. DeBaun MR, Kirkham FJ (2016) Lancet 387(10019): 626-627
    › Primary publication · 26670618 (PubMed)
  7. Pregnancy outcomes in women with sickle-cell disease in low and high income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Boafor TK, Olayemi E, Galadanci N, Hayfron-Benjamin C, Dei-Adomakoh Y, Segbefia C, Kassim AA, Aliyu MH, Galadanci H, Tuuli MG, Rodeghier M, DeBaun MR, Oppong SA (2016) BJOG 123(5): 691-8
    › Primary publication · 26667608 (PubMed)
  8. Common gynecological challenges in adolescents with sickle cell disease. Stimpson SJ, Rebele EC, DeBaun MR (2016) Expert Rev Hematol 9(2): 187-96
    › Primary publication · 26613137 (PubMed)
  9. Evolution of sickle cell disease from a life-threatening disease of children to a chronic disease of adults: The last 40 years. Chaturvedi S, DeBaun MR (2016) Am J Hematol 91(1): 5-14
    › Primary publication · 26547630 (PubMed)
  10. Transfusions for silent cerebral infarcts in sickle cell anemia. DeBaun MR, Casella JF (2014) N Engl J Med 371(19): 1841-2
    › Citation · 25372094 (PubMed)
  11. Hydroxyurea therapy contributes to infertility in adult men with sickle cell disease: a review. DeBaun MR (2014) Expert Rev Hematol 7(6): 767-73
    › Citation · 25242414 (PubMed)
  12. Wheezing is common in children with sickle cell disease when compared with controls. Galadanci NA, Liang WH, Galadanci AA, Aliyu MH, Jibir BW, Karaye IM, Inusa BP, Vermund SH, Strunk RC, DeBaun MR (2015) J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 37(1): 16-19
    › Citation · 25197776 (PubMed) · PMC4866494 (PubMed Central)
  13. Controlled trial of transfusions for silent cerebral infarcts in sickle cell anemia. DeBaun MR, Gordon M, McKinstry RC, Noetzel MJ, White DA, Sarnaik SA, Meier ER, Howard TH, Majumdar S, Inusa BP, Telfer PT, Kirby-Allen M, McCavit TL, Kamdem A, Airewele G, Woods GM, Berman B, Panepinto JA, Fuh BR, Kwiatkowski JL, King AA, Fixler JM, Rhodes MM, Thompson AA, Heiny ME, Redding-Lallinger RC, Kirkham FJ, Dixon N, Gonzalez CE, Kalinyak KA, Quinn CT, Strouse JJ, Miller JP, Lehmann H, Kraut MA, Ball WS, Hirtz D, Casella JF (2014) N Engl J Med 371(8): 699-710
    › Citation · 25140956 (PubMed) · PMC4195437 (PubMed Central)
  14. Silent cerebral infarction, income, and grade retention among students with sickle cell anemia. King AA, Rodeghier MJ, Panepinto JA, Strouse JJ, Casella JF, Quinn CT, Dowling MM, Sarnaik SA, Thompson AA, Woods GM, Minniti CP, Redding-Lallinger RC, Kirby-Allen M, Kirkham FJ, McKinstry R, Noetzel MJ, White DA, Kwiatkowski JK, Howard TH, Kalinyak KA, Inusa B, Rhodes MM, Heiny ME, Fuh B, Fixler JM, Gordon MO, DeBaun MR (2014) Am J Hematol 89(10): E188-92
    › Citation · 25042018 (PubMed) · PMC4261188 (PubMed Central)
  15. Acute silent cerebral ischemic events in children with sickle cell anemia. Quinn CT, McKinstry RC, Dowling MM, Ball WS, Kraut MA, Casella JF, Dlamini N, Ichord RN, Jordan LC, Kirkham FJ, Noetzel MJ, Roach ES, Strouse JJ, Kwiatkowski JL, Hirtz D, DeBaun MR (2013) JAMA Neurol 70(1): 58-65
    › Citation · 23108767 (PubMed) · PMC3677221 (PubMed Central)
  16. Heme oxygenase-1 gene promoter polymorphism is associated with reduced incidence of acute chest syndrome among children with sickle cell disease. Bean CJ, Boulet SL, Ellingsen D, Pyle ME, Barron-Casella EA, Casella JF, Payne AB, Driggers J, Trau HA, Yang G, Jones K, Ofori-Acquah SF, Hooper WC, DeBaun MR (2012) Blood 120(18): 3822-8
    › Citation · 22966170 (PubMed) · PMC3488892 (PubMed Central)
  17. Magnetic resonance angiography-defined intracranial vasculopathy is associated with silent cerebral infarcts and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase mutation in children with sickle cell anaemia. Thangarajh M, Yang G, Fuchs D, Ponisio MR, McKinstry RC, Jaju A, Noetzel MJ, Casella JF, Barron-Casella E, Hooper WC, Boulet SL, Bean CJ, Pyle ME, Payne AB, Driggers J, Trau HA, Vendt BA, Rodeghier M, DeBaun MR (2012) Br J Haematol 159(3): 352-9
    › Citation · 22958163 (PubMed) · PMC3775590 (PubMed Central)
  18. Enuresis associated with sleep disordered breathing in children with sickle cell anemia. Lehmann GC, Bell TR, Kirkham FJ, Gavlak JC, Ferguson TF, Strunk RC, Austin P, Rosen CL, Marshall MJ, Wilkey O, Rodeghier MJ, Warner JO, DeBaun MR (2012) J Urol 188(4 Suppl): 1572-6
    › Citation · 22910247 (PubMed) · PMC3722896 (PubMed Central)
  19. Silent cerebral infarcts: a review on a prevalent and progressive cause of neurologic injury in sickle cell anemia. DeBaun MR, Armstrong FD, McKinstry RC, Ware RE, Vichinsky E, Kirkham FJ (2012) Blood 119(20): 4587-96
    › Citation · 22354000 (PubMed) · PMC3367871 (PubMed Central)
  20. Effects of experimental asthma on inflammation and lung mechanics in sickle cell mice. Pritchard KA, Feroah TR, Nandedkar SD, Holzhauer SL, Hutchins W, Schulte ML, Strunk RC, Debaun MR, Hillery CA (2012) Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 46(3): 389-96
    › Citation · 22033263 (PubMed) · PMC3326430 (PubMed Central)
  21. Silent cerebral infarcts occur despite regular blood transfusion therapy after first strokes in children with sickle cell disease. Hulbert ML, McKinstry RC, Lacey JL, Moran CJ, Panepinto JA, Thompson AA, Sarnaik SA, Woods GM, Casella JF, Inusa B, Howard J, Kirkham FJ, Anie KA, Mullin JE, Ichord R, Noetzel M, Yan Y, Rodeghier M, Debaun MR (2011) Blood 117(3): 772-9
    › Citation · 20940417 (PubMed) · PMC3035071 (PubMed Central)
  22. Left ventricular hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction in children with sickle cell disease are related to asleep and waking oxygen desaturation. Johnson MC, Kirkham FJ, Redline S, Rosen CL, Yan Y, Roberts I, Gruenwald J, Marek J, DeBaun MR (2010) Blood 116(1): 16-21
    › Citation · 20378754 (PubMed) · PMC2904578 (PubMed Central)
  23. Asthma is associated with increased mortality in individuals with sickle cell anemia. Boyd JH, Macklin EA, Strunk RC, DeBaun MR (2007) Haematologica 92(8): 1115-8
    › Primary publication · 17650441 (PubMed)
  24. Asthma is associated with acute chest syndrome and pain in children with sickle cell anemia. Boyd JH, Macklin EA, Strunk RC, DeBaun MR (2006) Blood 108(9): 2923-7
    › Primary publication · 16690969 (PubMed) · PMC1892235 (PubMed Central)