Medical Advisory Board

Meet Thrive with PK Deficiency’s Medical Advisors

Dr. Al-Samkari

Dr. Hanny Al-Samkari, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and clinical investigator in the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Hematology Oncology.

Dr. Al-Samkari earned his medical doctorate at the Washington University School of Medicine and completed an internal medicine residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was selected as a Chief Medical Resident. He then completed his fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at the Dana-Farber/Mass General Partners program. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including first-author original research manuscripts in the top journals in medicine and hematology. His clinical and research interests are in bleeding disorders and hemolytic anemias. With regards to the latter, he is a leading investigator in the use of pyruvate kinase activators to treat hereditary and acquired anemias, and serves as principal investigator for many ongoing studies in this space. He also Co-Chairs the First International Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency, leading a global initiative of experts to develop the first evidence-based clinical guideline for Pyruvate Kinase deficiency, a genetic, hemolytic anemia. 

Dr. Grace

Dr. Rachel Grace, MD, MMSc, Pediatric Hematologist & Clinical Researcher, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center; Medical Director of Hematology Ambulatory Program and Hematology Clinical Research Program. 

Rachael Grace, MD, MMSc, is a pediatric hematologist and clinical researcher at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. She is the medical director of both the Hematology Ambulatory Program and the Hematology Clinical Research Program. Dr. Grace enjoys clinical care of pediatric patients and her research interests are focused on improving outcomes in the care and treatment of individuals with immune cytopenias. Dr. Grace is the lead investigator for the Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency Natural History Study, a global registry for patients with PK deficiency. She is a site investigator of the DRIVE-PK and ACTIVATE mitapivat (AG-348) clinical trials and the PEAK registry. She is also involved in multiple clinical research studies in immune cytopenias and is the director of the coordinating center for the ITP Consortium of North America (ICON), a research network of pediatric idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura investigators from over 50 institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Grace is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She received her MD at Brown University and received her master’s degree in clinical research at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Grace completed her residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and completed her pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. 

Dr. Ravi

Professor Yaddanapudi Ravindranath MBBS, (Dr Ravi), Professor of Pediatrics, Georgie Ginopolis Chair for Pediatric Cancer and Hematology

Dr. Ravi, who hails from Warangal India, obtained his medical degree M.B., B.S. from Gandhi Medical School, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India (1964), and Pediatric Residency training at the Children’s Hospital of  Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pa (1967-69). There after he came to Detroit as a Fellow in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital of Michigan (CHM).

In 1971, he permanently joined the staff at the CHM and is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He served as co-director of the Division of  Hematology/Oncology from 1991 to 2011. Dr. Ravi started the first chelation therapy for blood transfusion associated iron over load in Michigan 1977.  In 1987, in collaboration with the group at Harper, he started the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program at CHM.

Dr. Ravi  is a nationally and internationally recognized  expert in childhood cancer and blood diseases. Dr Ravi is most known for his work in childhood leukemias and for development of collaborative programs for improving care of children with cancer in South America, India and the Middle East.

Aside from the above work in oncology, he’s made several important contributions in red cell disorders as well such as discovering novel variants of glycolytic enzymes ( GPI, PKLR, PGK1) and G6PD. In work with his long time research colleague Robert M. Johnson from WSU, the pair identified novel spectrin variants in red cell membrane disorders, and the studies of oxidant damage in G6PD deficient red cells is oft quoted.

 Dr. Ravi’s personal reputation and his leadership lead to the recognition of the Childhood Cancer Program at the Children’s Hospital as one of the top 30 programs in the country by US News and World Report when such rankings started. He is perennially listed among the Best Doctors in America. He received Distinguished service award from CHM alumni in 2012.

Dr. Ravi is well known internationally. AT POG/COG Dr. Ravi Chaired two frontline AML studies and  served as Chair of the International Liaison Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group (the largest such organization in the world) from 2003 to November 2021 for children with cancer in US and Canada. He is founding member and the principal US advisor for GALOP ( Grupo de America Latina de Oncologia Pediatrica: Latin American Pediatric Oncology Group). He also served on the advisory committees for MECCA (the Middle East Childhood Cancer Alliance; an organization with participants from All of the Gulf countries, Turkey and Egypt).

Publications:  176 manuscripts, 34 short communications (case reports, editorial comments, letters) , 20 book chapters, ~230 presentations at national/international meetings. 

Dr. Rees

Dr. David Rees, Professor of Pediatric Hematology, King’s College London, King’s College Hospital 

David Rees is a paediatric haematologist at King’s College London and King’s College Hospital, with an interest in Sickle Cell Disease, Thalassaemia, Porphyria and other inherited red cell disorders. His research interests include understanding more about the causes of variation in Sickle Cell Disease, and in particular Cerebrovascular Disease. He is also interested in mechanisms of red cell damage in Sickle Cell Disease, including cellular dehydration. He is involved in the care of about 1000 children with Sickle Cell Disease in South London, and a medical adviser to the Sickle Cell Society.