19 February 2023 – Sickle Cell Unboxed Podcast
Sickle Cell Unboxed is a new podcast series funded by The Genetics Society UK. The series is produced and hosted by medical doctor and multimedia producer Dr Yemisi Bokinni, and is a public engagement initiative centred on creatively exploring life sciences themes.
In an online event, experts and guests featured on the series will be discussing Sickle Cell Anemia before a Q&A, as part of Rare Disease Day on 28th February 2023.
Sickle Cell Anaemia, a hereditary blood disorder, is the fastest-growing genetic condition in the UK and is caused when two copies of a gene mutation are inherited, one from either parent. Historically, at-risk populations for Sickle Cell Anaemia are individuals with ancestry from Africa, the Caribbean, India and parts of the Arab world.
The series creatively ‘unboxes’ themes such as the historical origins and early explanations rooted in African folklore, to the more present themes of Sickle Cell and relationships, lived experiences in the UK and Nigeria, in addition to notes on pioneering new treatments and medical advances for future cures. Guests on the podcast hail from the UK, Nigeria and Ghana, and include senior haematologists, a researcher at the University of Oxford, advocacy practitioners and notedly, insights from individuals living with the condition. The series is set to conclude with an online event scheduled for Rare Disease Day 2023, February 28th, that will provide an opportunity for audiences to engage with the guest speakers. The podcast is widely available across all major podcast hosting platforms.
Speaking from London, UK, a quote from Dr Yemisi Bokinni: “I was inspired to create this project after the unfortunate death of Evan Nathan Smith, a twenty-one-year-old who died of Sickle Cell in the UK, in part due to a lack of an understanding of the condition. Considering Sickle Cell is the fastest-growing genetic condition in the UK, I believe everyone should know about it. While the motivation for the podcast stemmed from a tragedy, I wanted to centre the essence of hope. The series concludes with the episode titled ‘Unboxing the future’ which bears testament to the beauty of science and research in improving all of our lives.
About Dr Yemisi Bokinni: Yemisi is a medical doctor and graduated from King’s College London with a Medical Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Genetics. She currently works as a Multimedia Producer and writer at Remedy Studios, a young media production company dedicated to producing bold and compelling life science programming that reaches and reflects diverse audiences.