Margaret T. Lee, MD

Section Chief, Hematology

Academic Title(s)

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics at CUMC

Education & Training

  • Fellowship
    New York University Medical Center
  • Residency
    New York University Medical Center
  • Medical School
    University of Santo Tomas (Philippines)


  • Pediatric Hematology


Research & Grants

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Faculty Statement

My main research focus is sickle cell disease, particularly in the areas of prevention of cerebrovascular and cardio-respiratory complications. I have been involved as the site clinical investigator for several of the landmark NIH-funded clinical trials in stroke prevention including STOP/STOP2/Post-STOP (Stroke Prevention in Sickle Cell Disease), SWiTCH and TWiTCH (Stroke with transfusions changing to hydroxyurea). In collaboration with the pulmonary hypertension experts at Columbia University Medical Center, we have determined risk factors and prevalence of pulmonary hypertension in children with sickle cell disease. In an effort to reduce pulmonary complications, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children with sickle cell disease, I am conducting a Phase 2 randomized controlled clinical trial of high-dose vitamin D to reduce respiratory complications.

Emerging evidence indicates that vitamin D, in addition to its role in calcium and bone homeostasis, is a multifunctional regulator of innate and adaptive immune responses and of inflammation. Patients with sickle cell disease have a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency due to limited sun exposure, dark skin color and poor nutrition. The results of our clinical trial could offer a simple and low-cost intervention to avert serious respiratory complications in sickle cell disease.

My other area of interest is in vascular anomalies. Vascular anomalies (blood vessels that develop abnormally) are a group of disorders that include hemangiomas, lymphatic and venous malformations, arteriovenous malformations, and other rare types of vascular tumors. I am actively involved in our own institution’s Vascular Anomalies Group, a multidisciplinary group of specialists with expertise in the treatment of vascular anomalies. I provide chemotherapeutic management of certain vascular tumors, the management of bleeding and clotting complications associated with vascular malformations. I am an active participant in the Vascular Anomalies Special Interest Group of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology that is looking at novel therapies for vascular anomalies and their complications.

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