Deepika Darbari, M.D., hematologist at Children’s National Hospital, is being honored by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) for her significant contributions to the mentorship and training of underrepresented minority researchers and for advancing the care for underrepresented patient populations, primarily individuals living with sickle cell disease (SCD). Dr. Darbari started studying and treating SCD at Howard University, where she also saw firsthand the many disparity issues surrounding the condition, such as inadequate funding, limited treatment options and biases and stigma. She also learned about barriers to career development that minority students faced. She worked to address those issues through her mentorship.
Dr. Darbari has mentored many medical students, residents and fellows whose research projects focused on improving care for individuals living with SCD. She has also fostered the careers of junior investigators of underrepresented minorities as well as served as a member of the ASH Minority Medical Student Award Program, the ASH Committee on Promoting Diversity and the ASH Women in Hematology working group, all in her continued efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion at ASH and in the health care community at large.