Shannon Kelly, MD

Assistant Clinical Investigator


Dr. Kelly is a pediatric hematologist oncologist whose research interests are in transfusion and sickle cell disease.  She is board certified in transfusion medicine and pediatric hematology oncology.  Her current research is focusing on alloimmunization and tolerance induced by chronic erythrocytapheresis.  She is an investigator in the NHLBI/NIH REDS-III transfusion safety and retrovirus donor program with a focus in Brazil and Tanzania.  With Dr. Michael Busch (PrincipaI Investigator), Dr. Kelly is investigating the influence of sickle cell disease on HIV.  She is performing in vitro experiments to determine if peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) collected from sickle cell disease (SCD) are less susceptible to HIV infection than PBMC collected from age, gender and race matched controls.  Dr. Kelly is also Assistant Medical Director at Vitalant (formerly named Blood Centers of the Pacific), the Bay Area’s nonprofit blood service provider.

  • Contact
  • Current Positions
  • Education and Training
  • Research Interests
  • Publications
  • Assistant Clinical Investigator, Vitalant Research Institute, San Francisco
  • Assistant Medical Director, Blood Centers of the Pacific
  • BS, Biochemistry, Louisiana State University
  • MD, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
  • Internship and Residency, Pediatrics, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA
  • Chief Residency, Pediatrics, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA
  • Fellowship, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital & Research Center, Oakland, CA
  • Fellowship, Transfusion Medicine, University of California, San Francisco / Blood Centers of the Pacific, San Francisco , CA
  • Transfusion outcomes in children with hematologic/oncologic disorders
  • Alloimmunization in sickle cell anemia
  • Impact of erythrocytapheresis in sickle cell anemia

Establishing a Brazilian Sickle Cell Disease Cohort and Identifying Molecular Determinants of Response to Transfusions and Genetic Determinants of Alloimmunization

This project will develop a centralized electronic database of clinical, laboratory and transfusion information as well as a biospecimen repository for a cohort of ~7,000 sickle cell patients in Brazil.  Planned initial studies from this cohort include characterization of the immune modulation that occurs with transfusion and identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms that contribute to the risk of red blood cell alloimmunization in sickle cell anemia patients.

Gene Expression Profiles in Sickle Cell Disease

In order to characterize gene expression patterns in pediatric sickle cell patients, mRNA expression was quantified for patients at baseline, during crisis and post red blood cell transfusion. Evaluation of differential gene expression patterns in these clinical scenarios may further characterize the central pathways involved in sickle cell pathophysiology as well as those pathways impacted by transfusion therapy.

Alloimmunization of Pediatric Sickle Cell Patients on a Chronic Transfusion Program: Impact of Erythrocytapheresis

The alloimmunization rates of pediatric sickle cell patients in chronic transfusion programs were examined to determine differences in rates of antibody formation between patients on simple and exchange programs.