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College of Nursing

Faculty and Staff


Title: Associate Professor
College of Nursing
Phone: 803-777-0472

College of Nursing 
University of South Carolina
1601 Greene Street, Room 605
Columbia, SC 29208-4001 
United States 



Dr. Cheedy Jaja's interest in social justice, health disparities, and improving health outcomes in historically marginalized and vulnerable populations such as those with sickle cell disease drives his research, clinical, and advocacy initiatives. He is an expert in health systems strengthening and nursing capacity building and a board-certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.  Dr. Jaja received a Fulbright Scholar award from the US State Department, among other honors.


Dr. Jaja has over two decades of teaching experience across academic programs in nursing, social sciences, arts, and humanities.  His teaching approach strives for classroom mutuality whereby the instructor and students are sources of knowledge, and the course is presented as a collaborative learning project. Through dialogue and personal exchanges, he enables his class to tap into its collective knowledge base, exposes biases, and strives for convergence on views, values, ideals, issues, and perspectives relevant to the course. His teaching approach utilizes traditional and innovative pedagogical techniques that stimulate critical thinking, creativity, and reflection. 


Dr. Jaja's research interests are sickle cell disease analgesic pharmacogenetics and health disparities. His current research program focuses on using genetic information to develop algorithms for the appropriate selection of analgesics for pain management in sickle cell disease patients. 


Dr. Jaja is actively involved in global health. During the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in 2014-2015, he served two tours of duty in Sierra Leone with the humanitarian organization, Partners in Health. In Sierra Leone, he was instrumental in establishing a pediatric sickle cell disease clinic.  Dr. Jaja's work has been disseminated as peer-reviewed publications and from the podium at home and abroad.

Professional Service

  • International Society of Nurses in Genetics
  • International Association of Sickle Cell Nurses and Physician Assistants
  • Network of Minority Research Investigators
  • American Nursing Association   
  • International Society for Neonatal Screening
  • African Newborn Screening and Early Intervention Consortium

Professional Practice

Dr. Jaja provides psych and mental health care primarily to patients with sickle cell disease in ambulatory healthcare settings.  

Research Studies (Selected)

Insights into Microbiome and Environmental Contributions to Sickle Cell Disease and Leg Ulcers (INSIGHTS STUDY). NIH/NHGRI / Associate Investigator.

Individualizing Patient Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease through Pharmacogenetics. Emergency Medicine Foundation/ Co-Investigator.

Pharmacogenetic Optimization of Analgesic Prescribing in Sickle Cell Disease. NIH/NINR/ Principal Investigator 

Publications (selected)

Jaja C. I was a nurse on the front lines of Ebola, and I saw that nurses need support for the trauma and pain they experience. April 2020

Matthie NS, Jaja, C, Jenerette CM. Sickle Cell Disease in 2020: Awareness and Advocacy. NBNA News. 2020; Sept: 10-12

Jaja C, Gibson RW, Edem-Hotah. Communicating sickle cell disease point-of-care testing results. Lancet Haematol. 2020 Oct;7(10):e708-e709. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30280-5. PMID: 32976746

Jaja C, Edem-Hotah J, Shepherd J, Patel N, Xu H, Gibson, R. Analytic characteristics and performance of novel immunoassay point-of-care tests for early diagnosis of sickle cell disease: A systematic review. Point of Care: The Journal of Near-Patient Testing & Technology.2020; 19(3):84–94.

Jaja C, Barrett N, Patel N, Lyon M, Xu H, Kutlar A. Feasibility of Preemptive Genotyping for CYP2C19 Enzyme for Rational Pharmacotherapy in Sickle Cell Disease: Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers, 2016 Aug 23. PMID: 27551817.

Jaja C, Lyon M, Patel N, Kutlar A. Genetic variability of the UGT2B7, CYP3A4 CYP2B6 DMET genes in a Sickle Cell Disease Patient Cohort. The Journal of Pain, Vol. 17, Issue 4, S46. April 2016.

Jaja C, Bowman L, Wells L, H. Xu, Lyon M, Gibson RO, Kutlar A. CYP2C8 and CYP2C9 metabolic profiles and frequency of emergency department visits for sickle cell disease pain management. The Journal of Pain, Vol. 16, Issue 4, S40. April 2015.

Jaja C, Patel N, Kutlar A, Lyon M, Bowman L, Bateman K. CYP2C8 allele and genotype frequencies in adult Sickle Cell Disease Patients: implications for NSAIDs metabolism. The Journal of Pain, Vol. 15, Issue 4, S44. April 2014.

Jaja C, Gibson R, & Quarles SA. Advancing Genomic Research and Reducing Health Disparities. What can Nurse Scholars Do? Journal of Nursing Scholarship. Nurs Scholarsh. 2013; 202-209. NIHMS 418338.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.