Vascular Medicine Institute
University of Pittsburgh
BST E1240
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-5853
Fax: 412-648-5980

Gregory J. Kato, MD


Greg Kato MD


Greg Kato, MD

Professor of Medicine,
Division of Hematology/Oncology

Director, Sickle Cell Center of Excellence

E1240 BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Phone: 412-648-3017
Lab Phone: 412-624-7426
Email: katogj@upmc.edu

Assistant/Academic Office:
Carla Monzo: 412-648-3181

Patient Care Issues:
Evelyn Wrozek, RN: 412-623-3448
Clinic: 412-692-4724
Patient Faxes: 412-692-4705

Hematology Clinic | ResearchGate

Kato Lab



Dr. Kato is 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. He takes care of adults with sickle cell disease, and leads clinical and laboratory bench research to learn the causes of pulmonary hypertension and other forms of vascular dysfunction and to develop new treatments to improve or prevent it. He has a highly collaborative team of clinical and laboratory researchers and a group of motivated, committed patients that enables us to make progress in this research.

Dr. Kato's research specialties have been in blood flow physiology studies, clinical trials and proteomic analysis of plasma to unravel new mechanisms contributing to complications of sickle cell disease and to the development of red blood cells in the bone marrow. He and his team 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.

Dr. Kato joined the Vascular Medicine Institute in September 2013. 

Key Publications

Oder E, Safo MK, Abdulmalik O, Kato GJ. New developments in anti-sickling agents: can drugs directly prevent the polymerization of sickle haemoglobin in vivo? Br J Haematol. 2016 Oct;175(1):24-30.

Hosseini P, Abidi SZ, Du E, Papageorgiou DP, Choi Y, Park Y, Higgins JM, Kato GJ, Suresh S, Dao M, Yaqoob Z, So PT. Cellular normoxic biophysical markers of hydroxyurea treatment in sickle cell disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Aug 23;113(34):9527-32.

Kato GJ. New insights into sickle cell disease: mechanisms and investigational therapies. Curr Opin Hematol. 2016 May;23(3):224-32.

Nguyen KL, Tian X, Alam S, Mehari A, Leung SW, Seamon C, Allen D, Minniti CP, Sachdev V, Arai AE, Kato GJ. Elevated transpulmonary gradient and cardiac magnetic resonance-derived right ventricular remodeling predict poor outcomes in sickle cell disease. Haematologica. 2016 Feb;101(2):e40-3.Minniti CP, Gorbach AM, Xu D, Hon YY, Delaney KM, Seidel M, Malik N, Peters-Lawrence M, Cantilena C, Nichols JS, Mendelsohn L, Conrey A, Grimes G, Kato GJ. 2014. Topical sodium nitrite for chronic leg ulcers in patients with sickle cell anaemia: a phase 1 dose-finding safety and tolerability trial.  The Lancet Haematology.  1(3): e95–e103.

Du E, Diez-Silva M, Kato GJ, Dao M, Suresh S. Kinetics of sickle cell biorheology and implications for painful vasoocclusive crisis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jan 20. pii: 201424111. [Epub ahead of print]

Dominical VM, Samsel L, Nichols JS, Costa FF, McCoy JP Jr, Conran N, Kato GJ. Prominent role of platelets in the formation of circulating neutrophil-red cell heterocellular aggregates in sickle cell anemia. Haematologica. 2014 Nov;99(11):e214-7.

van Beers EJ, Yang Y, Raghavachari N, Tian X, Allen DT, Nichols JS, Mendelsohn L, Nekhai S, Gordeuk VR, Taylor JG 6th, Kato GJ. Iron, inflammation, and early death in adults with sickle cell disease. Circ Res. 2015 Jan 16;116(2):298-306.

Baird JH, Minniti CP, Lee JM, Tian X, Wu C, Jackson M, Alam S, Taylor JG 6th, Kato GJ. Oscillatory haematopoiesis in adults with sickle cell disease treated with hydroxycarbamide. Br J Haematol. 2014 Nov 6. doi: 10.1111/bjh.13203. [Epub ahead of print]

Fertrin KY, van Beers EJ, Samsel L, Mendelsohn LG, Saiyed R, Nichols JS, Hepp DA, Brantner CA, Daniels MP, McCoy JP, Kato GJ. Imaging flow cytometry documents incomplete resistance of human sickle F-cells to ex vivo hypoxia-induced sickling. Blood. 2014 Jul 24;124(4):658-60.

Wang X, Mendelsohn L, Rogers H, Leitman S, Raghavachari N, Yang Y, Yau YY, Tallack M, Perkins A, Taylor JG 6th, Noguchi CT, Kato GJ. Heme-bound iron activates placenta growth factor in erythroid cells via erythroid Krüppel-like factor. Blood. 2014 Aug 7;124(6):946-54.

van Beers EJ, Samsel L, Mendelsohn L, Saiyed R, Fertrin KY, Brantner CA, Daniels MP, Nichols J, McCoy JP, Kato GJ. Imaging flow cytometry for automated detection of hypoxia-induced erythrocyte shape change in sickle cell disease. Am  J Hematol. 2014 Jun;89(6):598-603.

Mehari A, Alam S, Tian X, Cuttica MJ, Barnett CF, Miles G, Xu D, Seamon C, Adams-Graves P, Castro OL, Minniti CP, Sachdev V, Taylor VI JG, Kato GJ, Machado RF. 2013. Hemodynamic Predictors of Mortality in Adults with Sickle Cell Disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 187(8):840-7.

Mehari A, Gladwin MT, Tian X, Machado RF, Kato GJ. 2012. Mortality in adults with sickle cell disease and pulmonary hypertension. JAMA. 307(12):1254-6.

Sundaram N, Tailor A, Mendelsohn L, Wansapura J, Wang X, Higashimoto T, Pauciulo MW, Gottliebson W, Kalra VK, Nichols WC, Kato GJ, Malik P. 2010. High Levels of Placenta Growth Factor in Sickle Cell Disease Promote Pulmonary Hypertension. Blood. 116(1):109-12.

Yuditskaya S, Tumblin A, Hoehn GT, Wang G, Drake SK, Xu X, Ying S, Remaley AT, Shen RF, Munson PJ, Suffredini AF, Kato GJ. 2009. Proteomic identification of altered apolipoprotein patterns in pulmonary hypertension and vasculopathy of sickle cell disease. Blood. 113(5):1122-8.

Mack AK, McGowan II VR, Ackah D, Tremonti CK, Barnett C, Machado RF, Gladwin MT, Kato GJ. 2008. Sodium nitrite promotes regional blood flow in patients with sickle cell disease. Br J Haematol. 142(6):971-8.

Kato GJ, Gladwin MT, Steinberg MH. 2007. Deconstructing Sickle Cell Disease: Reappraisal of the Role of Hemolysis in the Development of Clinical Subphenotypes. Blood Rev. 21(1):37-47.

Villagra J, Shiva S, Hunter LA, Machado RF, Gladwin MT, Kato GJ. 2007. Platelet activation in patients with sickle disease, hemolysis-associated pulmonary hypertension and nitric oxide scavenging by cell-free hemoglobin. Blood. 110(6):2166-72.

Kato GJ, McGowan V, Machado RF, Little JA, Taylor VI JA, Morris CR, Nichols JS, Wang X, Poljakovic M, Morris Jr. SM, Gladwin MT. 2006. Lactate dehydrogenase as a biomarker of hemolysis-associated nitric oxide resistance, priapism, leg ulceration, pulmonary hypertension and death in patients with sickle cell disease. Blood. 107(6):2279-85.

Morris CR, Kato GJ, Poljakovic M, Wang X, Blackwelder WC, Sachdev V, Hazen SL, Vichinsky EP, Morris SM Jr, Gladwin MT. 2005. Dysregulated arginine metabolism, hemolysis-associated pulmonary hypertension, and mortality in sickle cell disease. JAMA. 294(1):81-90.


Dr. Kato interviewed by editorial staff of The Lancet Haematology regarding his phase 1 trial of topical sodium nitrite for leg ulcers in adults with sickle cell disease. LISTEN

Drs. Kato, Ofori-Acquah and De Castro welcomed to University of Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. READ

Dr. Kato interviewed about the University of Pittsburgh Sickle Cell Research Summit with the Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation. WATCH

Dr. Kato speaks about pulmonary hypertension in sickle cell disease on the Kojo Nnamdi show on WAMU-FM. LISTEN (40:50) or READ

Dr. Kato speaks at New York University Medical Grand Rounds on  "Pulmonary Hypertension in Sickle Cell Disease:  Role of Iron Overload and Placenta Growth Factor". WATCH

Dr. Kato speaks at the NIH Clinical Center Grand Rounds on “Placenta Growth Factor and Endothelin in Sickle Cell Pulmonary Hypertension”. WATCH

Watch video on a new way to model behavior of sickle cells in a microfluidics chamber in Dr. Kato’s collaboration with Drs. Ming Dao, Sarah Du and Subra Suresh. READ/WATCH

Carnegie Mellon President Subra Suresh, Researchers Develop New Way To Model Sickle Cell Behavior READ

Dr. Kato is part of the steering committee of the steering committee of the largest interventional trial completed to date in sickle cell disease. READ