Medical School

Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

Department of Medicine

Robert Hebbel, MD


Academic Title

Regents Professor of Medicine 
George Clark Professor of Medicine


Medical School
University of Minnesota
University of Washington
University of Minnesota Medical School

Administrative Contact

E: Tracy Daye-Groves
P: (612) 624-5944
F: (612) 625-6919 

Mailing Address

Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation
420 Delaware Street SE, MMC 480
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Bio Statement

A graduate of University of Minnesota Medical School (1973), Dr. Hebbel subsequently trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Washington and in Hematology at the University of Minnesota. He is former Director of the NIH Hematology Training Grant and former Vice Chairman for Research of the Department of Medicine, where he is currently Regents Professor and Clark Professor of Medicine. Although now retired from clinical practice, his past clinical activities (1979-2003) included hematologic malignancy, marrow transplantation and benign hematology, with particular emphasis on sickle cell anemia. His laboratory research currently focuses upon the vascular pathobiology of sickle disease and upon genetic determinants of individual variability in endothelial cell function.

Areas of Expertise

  • Hematology
  • Red cell disorders
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Endothelial and vascular biology

Educational Interests

  • Minority biomedical education

Scholarly Activities

  • Laboratory research in areas of scientific interest, as above
  • Synthesis of a systems biology perspective of sickle disease pathobiology
Research Interests

Dr. Hebbel's research interests include: the vascular pathobiology of sickle disease; use of blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOEC) for biomedical applications; and the role of genetically determined differences in endothelial biology as a determinant of clinical phenotypic heterogeneity of vascular disease. Dr. Hebbel's lab is currently emphasizing, respectively, the molecular physiology of tissue factor expression by endothelial cells, utility of BOEC for gene therapy and device coating, and role of inherited endothelial cell differences underlying stroke risk.

Research Interest

  • Vascular pathobiology of sickle cell anemia
  • Genetic determinants of inter-individual differences in endothelial biology
  • Endothelial-based gene therapy

Research Projects

Continuously funded by National Institutes of Health since 1979

  • NIH “Validation of circulating endothelial cells and microparticles in youth” (Co-Investigator)
  • NIH “Heme toxicity and vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease” (Co-Investigator)
  • NIH “Cannabinoid-based therapy and approaches to quantify pain in sickle cell disease” (Co-Investigator)

Honors, Awards, Organizations

  • Alpha Omega Alpha (1973)
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation (elected 1985)
  • American Association of Physicians (elected 1997)
  • American Society of Hematology, 2014 Beutler Prize and Lecture

Recent textbook chapters

  • Hebbel RP: Pathobiology of Sickle Cell Disease. In: Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice, 6h Edition. Eds, Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, Heslop H, Weitz J, Anastasi J. Churchill Livingstone, 2011; pp 536-547.
  • Shantsila E, Lip GYH, Hebbel RP. Laboratory markers of endothelial activation and dysfunction. In: Marder VJ, Aird WC, Bennett JS, Schulman S, White GC II. Hemostasis and Thrombosis. Chap 48. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, New York, In Press 2011.

 Reviews (selected)

  • Hebbel RP. Reconstructing sickle cell disease: A data-based analysis of the “hyperhemolysis paradigm” for pulmonary hypertension from the perspective of evidence-based medicine. Am J Hematol, 88:123-54, 2011
  • Hebbel RP, Vercellotti GM, Nath KA. A systems biology consideration of the vasculopathy of sickle cell anemia: The need for multi-modality chemo-prophylaxis. Cardiovascular and Hematological Disorders – Drug Targets. 9:159-166, 2009.
  • Hebbel RP, Osarogiagbon R, Kaul D: The endothelial biology of sickle cell disease: Inflammation and a Chronic Vasculopathy. Microcirculation 11:129-152, 2004.

 Scientific research (selected)

  • Wei P, Milbauer LC, Enenstein J, Nguyen J, Pan W, Hebbel RP. Differential endothelial gene expression by African Americans versus Caucasian Americans: A possible contribution to health disparity in vascular disease and cancer. BMC Medicine, 9:2, 2011.
  • Milbauer LC, Wei P, Enenstein J, Jiang A, Hillery CA, Scott JP, Nelson SC, Bodempudi V, Topper JN, Yang RB, Hirsch B, Pan W, Hebbel RP. Genetic endothelial systems biology of sickle stroke risk. Blood 111:3872-3879, 2008.
  • Solovey A, Kollander R, Shet A, Chang L, Choong S, Mortari-Panoskaltsis A, Blazar BR, Kelm RJ, Hebbel RP: Endothelial tissue factor expression in sickle mice is augmented by hypoxia-reoxygenation and inhibited by lovastatin. Blood 104:840-846, 2004
  • Lin Y, Chang L, Solovey A, Healey JF, Lollar P, Hebbel RP: Use of blood outgrowth endothelial cells for gene therapy of hemophilia A. BLOOD 99:457-462, 2002.
  • Kaul DK, Hebbel RP: Hypoxia/reoxygenation causes inflammatory response in transgenic sickle mice, but not normal mice. J Clin Invest 106:411-420, 2000.
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  • Last modified on January 11, 2016