Dr. Lakiea Bailey is a sickle cell disease advocate, educator and research scientist. Diagnosed with sickle cell disease at age three, she has become a passionate advocate for those living with rare diseases and is committed to serving as a voice of encouragement and empowerment within the sickle cell community.
Despite the devastating symptoms of sickle cell, Dr. Bailey was determined to complete her educational goals, earning a Bachelor degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2001 and a Doctorate degree in Molecular Hematology and Regenerative Medicine in 2012. During the course of her education, Dr. Bailey was named a Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholar, was the recipient of multiple honors and awards, including the Fisher Scientific
Award for Overall Excellence in Biomedical Research, the Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association Award, the Georgia Reagents University Leadership Award and was inducted in the Alpha Upsilon Phi honor society. She believes that through hard work, diligence, patience and faith, even the seemingly most impossible obstacles can be overcome.
As part of her doctoral training, Dr. Bailey conducted research into the molecular mechanisms involved in the induction and regulation of the gamma globin gene. AT the conclusion of the project she published a first author publication implicating cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in gamma globin expression in patients with beta-thalassemia. It was during this time that Dr. Bailey also entered into the world of advocacy. She was one of the founding board of directors for the Family Advocacy Coalition for the Empowerment of the Sickle Cell Disease Community (FACE of SCD) and the founding vice president of Sickle Cell Warriors, Inc., serving as science advisor for both. She was a frequent guest and resource advisor for What’z Da Count on Sickle Cell Trait BlogTalk radio show and made multiple trips to Capitol Hill where she advocated for an increase in research funding and visibility with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA).
At the completion of her doctorate training, Dr. Bailey founded and began working as the Executive Director of the Sickle Cell Community Consortium, a coordinated network of sickle cell community-based organizations (CBOs), patient and caregiver advocates, community partners and healthcare/research advisors. The Consortium functions as an organizing entity allowing this diverse group of stakeholders to identify, prioritize, develop and execute solutions for patient-identified needs and gaps within the sickle cell community. Dr. Bailey also serves as a contract consultant with bluebird bio, has served as a patient engagement expert with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and sits on the Research Advisory Board for the Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease Research. Dr. Bailey enjoys traveling across the nation promoting sickle cell awareness. Her goal is to provide a platform to harness and amplify the power of the patient voice, ensuring that the sickle cell patient and caregiver takes a leadership role in research, policy, advocacy, legislation and education.