Robert P. Hebbel, MD

Regents Professor Emeritus, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

Robert P. Hebbel

Contact Info

Mailing Address:
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 480
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Residency, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


A graduate of University of Minnesota Medical School (1973), Dr. Hebbel subsequently trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Washington and in Hematology at the University of Minnesota. He is former Director of the NIH Hematology Training Grant and former Vice Chairman for Research of the Department of Medicine, where he is currently Regents Professor and Clark Professor of Medicine. Although now retired from clinical practice, his past clinical activities (1979-2003) included hematologic malignancy, marrow transplantation and benign hematology, with particular emphasis on sickle cell anemia. His laboratory research currently focuses upon the vascular pathobiology of sickle disease and upon genetic determinants of individual variability in endothelial cell function.


  • Hematology
  • Red cell disorders
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Endothelial and vascular biology

Awards & Recognition

  • American Society of Hematology, 2014 Beutler Prize and Lecture
  • American Association of Physicians (elected 1997)
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation (elected 1985)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha (1973)

Professional Associations

Scholarly Activities

  • Laboratory research in areas of scientific interest, as above
  • Synthesis of a systems biology perspective of sickle disease pathobiology


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Hebbel's research interests include: the vascular pathobiology of sickle disease; use of blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOEC) for biomedical applications; and the role of genetically determined differences in endothelial biology as a determinant of clinical phenotypic heterogeneity of vascular disease. Dr. Hebbel's lab is currently emphasizing, respectively, the molecular physiology of tissue factor expression by endothelial cells, utility of BOEC for gene therapy and device coating, and role of inherited endothelial cell differences underlying stroke risk.

Research Interest

Vascular pathobiology of sickle cell anemia; Genetic determinants of inter-individual differences in endothelial biology; Endothelial-based gene therapy

Research Funding Grants

Continuously funded by National Institutes of Health since 1979

  • NIH “Heme toxicity and vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease” (Co-Investigator)


  • Solovey A, Lin Y, Browne P, Choong S, Wayner E, Hebbel RP: Circulating activated endothelial cells in sickle cell anemia. New Engl J Med 337:1584-1590, 1997.
  • Lin Y, Weisdorf DJ, Solovey A, Hebbel RP: Origins of circulating endothelial cells and endothelial outgrowth from blood. J Clin Invest 105:71-77, 2000.
  • Milbauer L, Wei P, Enenstein J, Jiang A, Hillery CA, Scott JP, Nelson SC, Bodempudi V, Topper JN, Yang RB, Hirsch B, Pan W, Hebbel RP. Genetic endothelial systems biology of sickle stroke risk. Blood 111:3872-3879, 2008.
  • Hebbel RP, Wei P, Milbauer L, Corban MT, Solovey A, Kiley J, Patee J, Lerman LO, Pan W, Lerman A. Abnormal endothelial gene expression associated with early coronary atherosclerosis. J American Heart Assoc. 2020;9(14):016134"
  • Hebbel RP, Vercellotti GM: Pathobiology of Sickle Cell Disease. In: Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice, 7th Edition. Eds, Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, Weitz JI, Heslop H, Anastasi J, Salama ME. Elsevier, Philadelphia. pp 571-583, 2018


Academic Interests and Focus

Minority biomedical education


Clinical Interests

Sickle cell anemia