Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Hematology/Oncology

Faculty Profiles

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photo Laura M. De Castro, MD


Professor of Medicine

Director of Benign Hematology for the Institute for Transfusion Medicine and UPMC Cancer Center

of Clinical Translational Research for the Sickle Cell Disease Research Center of Excellence


Phone: 412-623-7026

Office: Falk Medical Building
3601 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone: 412-623-7026
Fax: 412-864-2663
Administrative Assistant:
Linda Mazefsky
Address: Medical Arts Building
3708 Fifth Avenue, Suite 503
Pittsbugh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-648-6466
Fax: 412-864-2663
Education and Training
Medical Doctor, Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, Santo Doming, Dominican Republic, 1986
PhD, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, 1990
Intern/Resident, Internal Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, NY, 1985
Fellow, Hematology/Oncology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1998
Master in Clinical Research, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 2014
Research Interest
Developed research hypotheses, designed studies, applied for extramural support and managed the regulatory, data collection and research-related clinical trials. Planning and development of phase II, III and translational research clinical trials. Study sickle cell related psychosocial issues, pulmonary hypertension, drug development and pregnancy and obstetric outcomes
Clinical Interest
Provided longitudinal and comprehensive care to patients with benign hematological disorders, specially those with congenital hemoglobinopathies such as Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia. Experience in planning, designing and implementing protocols targeting quality improvement interventions, with emphasis on individualized pain management protocols.
Educational Interest
Actively involved in teaching, training and mentoring students at different stages of their academic and scientific career but especially pre-med, medical students, interns, residents, fellows and graduate science students. Have been a career mentor for the last 5 yrs. to recipients of the American Society of Hematology “Minority Medical Student Award Program (MMSAP) grant award.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Jonassaint CR, Shah N, Jonassaint J, DeCastro L. Usability and Feasibility of an mHealth Intervention for Monitoring and Managing Pain Symptoms in Sickle Cell Disease: The Sickle Cell Disease Mobile Application to Record Symptoms via Technology (SMART). Hemoglobin. 2015; 1-7.
Shah N, Jonassaint J, DeCastro L, Hemoglobin. Patients welcome the Sickle Cell Disease Mobile Application to Record Symptoms via Technology (SMART). Hemoglobin. 2014; 38(2): 99-103.
Royal CD, Jonassaint CR, Jonassaint JC, DeCastro LM. Living with sickle cell disease: traversing 'race' and identity. Ethnicity & Health. 2011; 16(4-5): 389-404.
Jonassaint CR, Jonassain JC, Stanton MV, DeCastro LM, Royal CD. Clinical and sociodemographic factors predict coping styles among adults with sickle cell disease. Journal of the National Medical Association. 2010; 102(11): 1045-9.
Edwards CL, Raynor RD, Feliu M, McDougald C, Johnson S. Neuropsychological assessment, neuroimaging, and neuropsychiatric evaluation in pediatric and adult patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment. 2007; 3(6): 705-9.
Edwards CL, Killough A, Wood M, Doyle T, Feliu M, DeCastro L. Emotional reactions to pain predict psychological distress in adult patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine. 2014; 47(1): 1-16.
DeCastro LM, Zeennadi R, Jonassaint JC, Batchvarova M, Telen MJ. Effect of propranolol as antiadhesive therapy in sickle cell disease. Clinical Trials Science. 2012; 5(6): 437-44.
Wun T, Styles L, DeCastro L, Telen MJ, Kuypers F. Phase 1 study of the E-selectin inhibitor GMI 1070 in patients with sickle cell anemia. Pl9S one. 2014; 9(7): e101301.
Telen MJ, Wun T, McCavit TL, DeCastro LM, Krishnamurti L. Randomized phase 2 study of GMI-1070 in SCD: reduction in time to resolution of vaso-occlusive events and decreased opioid use. Blood. 2015; 125(17: 2656-64.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Real-time pain-management Interventions for Sickle cell via Mobile Applications (CaRISMA)
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2020
End Year: 2024
Notable Achievements
Honor for Scholastic excellence, School of Medicine, Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, 1986
The International Society for Antiviral Research, Travel Award, 1990
Scholar, NHLBI Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center Program, 2003-2008
Fellow, Functional Genomics of Blood Disorders, Summer Institute Program to increase Diversity (SIPID, NHLBI, 2008-2010
Duke Diversity Award, 2009
Duke Chancellor's Clinical Leadership in Academic Medicine Program, 2011
Duke's Strength, Hope and Caring Team Award, 2011