Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Hematology/Oncology

Faculty Profiles

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photo Gregory J Kato, MD

Professor of Medicine

Director, Adult Sickle Cell Center of Excellence

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology

Heart, Lung, Blood and Vascular Medicine Institute

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


Phone: 412-648-3017

Office: 200 Lothrop Street
BST E1240
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-648-3017
Fax: 412-648-5980
Administrative Assistant:
Kathy Brickett
Address: 200 Lothrop Street
BST E1240
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-624-3239
Fax: 412-648-5980
Administrative Assistant:
Carla Monzo
Address: 200 Lothrop Street
BST E1240
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-648-3181
Fax: 412-648-5980
Education and Training
BS, University of California, Los Angeles, 1979
MD, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 1985
Intern and Resident, Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, 1988
Senior Clinical Fellow, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, 1991
Research Interest
My laboratory investigates the role of heme trafficking in the regulation of placenta growth factor, an angiogenic factor that is dysregulated in patients with sickle cell disease, especially if they have pulmonary hypertension.

My clinical research specialties have been in blood flow physiology studies, clinical trials and biomarker analysis to unravel new mechanisms contributing to pulmonary hypertension and other complications of sickle cell disease. We have formulated a model to suggest that pulmonary hypertension, stroke, leg ulcers and priapism share features of vasculopathy and more severe hemolytic anemia, and that pain crisis, acute chest syndrome and avascular necrosis share evidence of poor blood circulation due to viscosity. These two groups overlap and are not completely distinct.

I am leading a early phase multicenter clinical trial in sickle cell disease of riociguat. I am also a co-principal investigator of a trial of topical sodium nitrite for leg ulcers in adults with sickle cell disease.
Clinical Interest
I am a hematologist with an active translational research interest in sickle cell disease, especially disorders of the blood vessel wall that may contribute to pulmonary hypertension.

I clinically specialize in benign hematology. I take care of adults with sickle cell disease, and I am also very experienced in all other red blood cell disorders, iron deficiency, iron overload and hereditary bone marrow failure syndromes (such as Fanconi anemia and Diamond-Blackfan anemia), white blood cell disorders and platelet disorders. I see patients with thromboembolic disorders.
Educational Interest
I teach about general hematology problems to many levels of trainees, including medical students, physician assistant students, interns, residents, fellows and attending physicians. In particular, I specialize in teaching about sickle cell disease to trainees and at CME conferences. I mentor graduate students and fellows through committees.

I have authored a detailed review article on sickle cell disease that is publically available through the following link:
Selected Publications:
Kato GJ. Sickle Cell Disease. Nature Reviews. Disease Primaers. 2018; 4: 18010.
Dagur PK, McCoy JP, Nichols J, Mendelsohn L, Seamon C, Kato GJ, van Beers EJ. Haem augments and iron chelation decreases toll-like receptor 4 mediated inflammation in monocytes from sickle cell patients. British Journal of Haematology. 2018; 181(4): 552-554.
Kato, GJ. Sickle cell vasculopathy: Vascular phenotype on fire!. Journal of Physiology. 2018.
Jonassaint, CR, Rao, N, Sciuto, A, Switzer, GE, DeCastro, L, Kato, GJ, Jonassaint JC, Hammat Z, Shah, N, Wasan, A. Abstract Animations for the Communication and Assessment of Pain in Adults: Cross-sectional Feasibility Study. Journal for Medical Internet Research. 2018; 20(8): e10056.
Kato GJ, Steinberg MH, Gladwin MT. Intravascular hemolysis and the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2017; 127(3): 750-760.
Bennewitz MF, Jimenez MA, Vats R, Tutuncuoglu E, Jonassaint J, Kato GJ, Gladwin MT, Sundd P. Lung vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease mediated by arteriolar neutrophil-platelet microemboli. Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. 2017; 2(1): e89761.
Jacob SA, Novelli EM, Isenberg JS, Garrett ME, Chu Y, soldano K, Ataga KI, Telen MJ, Ashley-Koch A, Gladwin MT, Zhang Y, Kato GJ. Thrombospondin-1 gene polymorphism is associated with estimated pulmonary artery pressure in patients with sickle cell anemia. American Journal of Hematology. 2017; 92(3): E31-E34.
Weir NA, Saiyed R, Alam S, Conrey A, Desai HD, George MP, Keeley JH, Klings ES, Mehari A, Taylor JG 6th, Minniti CP, Kato GJ. Prostacyclin-analog therapy in sickle cell pulmonary hypertension. Haematologica Journal. 2017; 102(5): e163-e165.
Sachdev V, Sidenko S, Wu MD, Minniti CP, Hannoush H, Brenneman CL, Wachlaw MA, ARai AE, Schechter AN, Kato GJ, Lindner JR. Skeletal and myocardial microvascular blood flow in hydroxycarbamide-treated patients with sickle cell disease. British Journal of Haematology. 2017; 179(4): 648-656.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Cyb5R3 and cGMP Signaling
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Bayer Corporation
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2019
Title: Characterizing Mechanisms of Sickle Cell Crisis via Dynamic Optical Assay
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Grant Number: R01 HL121386
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2018
Title: SCN5A Gene and Prolonged QT in Sickle Cell Disease
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Mississippi Medical Center/National Institute of Health
Grant Number: R01 MD009162
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2020
Title: Characterizing Mechanisms of Sickle Cell Crisis via Dynamic Optical Assay
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Massachusetts Institute of Technology/National Institute of Health
Grant Number: R01 HL121386
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2017
Title: Patient Centered Comprehensive Medication Adherence Management System as a Means to Improving Adherence with Hydroxyurea for Patients with Sickle Cell
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Emory University/Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2017
Title: A Community Based Network of Care Using a Life Course Approach to Sickle Cell Disease to Enhance Newborn Screening, Follow up, Family Support, Education and Counseling in a Medical Home
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Health Research and Services Administration
Grant Number: U38 MC22219
Start Year: 2011
End Year: 2015
Notable Achievements
Certificate of Merit, Young Investigator's Day, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1990
Young Investigators Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology, 1991
Clinician Scientist Award, Johns Hopkins Universiy School of Medicine, 1998
Merit Award, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH, 2008
Clinical Center Science Advance, National Institutes of Health, 2008
Provost's Teaching Award, University College London, London UK, 2010
Jack Orloff Scientific Award NHLBI, NIH, 2012
Career Contribution Award, Roland B. Scott Symposium, Howard University Hospital, 2013
Distinguished Clinical Teacher Nominee, NIH Fellows Committee, 2013
Enterprise Development Certificate of Achievement, University of Pittsburgh, 2015