Sickle cell disease is one of the major health problems in Africa. Sickle cell disease is an inherited condition affecting the blood and various organs in the body. It affects the red blood cells, inhibiting blood flow. On the frontline of efforts to combat this disease is Dr Julie Makani, one of the leading haematology experts on the continent. The Tanzanian scientist, who has dedicated her life to save lives, founded the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania, an organisation that works to prevent and manage the disease. Julie’s remarkable work hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2009, she was honoured with the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship for promoting biomedical science in Africa. She was also awarded the 2011 Royal Society Pfizer Award.