Vijay G. Sankaran, M.D., Ph.D.

Vijay G. Sankaran, M.D., Ph.D.

Boston Children's Hospital
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School
Vijay Sankaran headshot 2020

Dr. Vijay Sankaran’s laboratory studies how human genetic variation impacts human blood cell production or hematopoiesis in health and disease.

The Sankaran Laboratory utilizes human genetics to refine our understanding of hematopoiesis and how this process goes awry in human disease. We are particularly interested in gaining molecular insights into how hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells are able to produce various blood cell lineages normally and how this process is perturbed in disease, how the hemoglobin genes (including fetal hemoglobin) are regulated, and how hematopoiesis varies in humans. We are also interested in identifying opportunities to use the insights we gain from our studies to develop improved therapies for a variety of blood disorders, including sickle cell disease, thalassemia, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, myeloproliferative disorders, and childhood leukemia. We utilize modern human genetic studies, including exome and genome sequencing, as well as functional studies of human hematopoiesis and hemoglobin gene regulation in vitro and in vivo. We are also developing technologies to enable better studies of human hematopoiesis in vivo, including lineage tracing and single cell genomic approaches.


Dr. Vijay G. Sankaran is the Lodish Family Chair in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children's Hospital; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Attending Physician in the Dana-Farber/ Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. He received a B.A. and M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania in biochemistry, an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge in biochemistry, and earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard Medical School. He subsequently did a residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Sankaran has received a number of awards for his work on using human genetics to better understand the process of blood cell production, including most recently the 2018 Gale and Ira Drukier Prize in Children’s Health Research and the 2019 Seldin-Smith Award for Pioneering Research from the American Society of Clinical Investigation.

Contact Information

Boston Children's Hospital
Division of Hematology/Oncology
Center for Life Sciences