LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Second Annual West Coast Sickle Cell Conference was being held Friday at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Experts were expected to discuss a possible genetic cure for sickle cell disease during the event, which began at 9 a.m.

Dr. Thomas Coates, Director of the Sickle Cell Program at the hospital, also shared information about the significant number of children impacted by genetic blood disorder, which affects African Americans and Latinos.

The purpose of the conference is to get the word out about how to care for children suffering from SCD, as well as the $9.5 million research project awarded to the Children’s Hospital LA/USC Keck School of Medicine and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.