Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) is a chronic autoimmune disease, characterized by dysregulation of immune cells in the blood and subsequent fibrosis and vascular dysfunction, associated with significant mortality and morbidity, disproportionately affecting women and African Americans, and without satisfactory treatments. Monocytes, a type of blood immune cells, are critically involved, but the mechanisms responsible for their deregulation in scleroderma remain largely unknown. The goal of this project is to understand how the regulation of monocytes differs between scleroderma and healthy individuals. Volunteers will be asked to provide a blood sample, for which modest compensation will be provided. This is not a drug study.
The goal of this study is to learn more about lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; SLE), which affect African-Americans more than other groups. The purpose of this study is to understand what role microbes living in the intestine (called microbiota) have in causing lupus. This study will include African-Americans who have SLE, individuals who have immediate family members with SLE and unrelated healthy volunteers. For study subject recruitment, CCCR/MCRC databases including the longitudinal SLE in Gullah Health (SLEIGH) study as well as the chart review will be used to screen for eligibility. The study is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
We will study how well the relatively new FDA approved pneumonia vaccine can protect older renal transplant recipients against pneumococcal illness. We will specifically study the group of renal transplants in whom the cause of renal failure was either diabetes mellitus II and/or hyoertension. We will compare the findings against those we find in younger renal transplant recipients, older healthy individuals and older persons with diabetes but normal kidney function. Healthy younger individuals will serve as controls for optimal vaccine response.
It is important to understand multiple personal-level factors that impact disease risks and outcomes to determine the most effective ways to establish precise medical strategies to prevent, diagnose, and treat chronic health conditions and diseases. This is especially important among minority and underserved populations that would benefit from more tailored healthcare approaches. This study will develop and assess strategies for circulating evidence about precision medicine and improving precision medicine approaches.
Often considered as related diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and systemic sclerosis (SSc) are severe autoimmune disorders characterized, among other, by dysregulation of immune cells in the blood. The roles of different immune cells in SLE and SSc remain unclear. It is of increasing importance to characterize specific immune cells and define their impact on autoimmune disease, which may lead to new therapies. The goal of this study is to identify blood immune cells associated with SLE and SSc.
This study is for patient that have been diagnosed with suspected lower respiratory tract infection. The purpose of this study is to evaluate a new test that may be able to find more lung infections than current tests can. This new test is called next-generation sequencing and looks in respiratory secretions for bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms that may cause infection. We hope to learn more about the usefulness of this new test in identifying infections.
Treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is now possible with all oral medications. While most patients achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR) after treatment, synonymous with cure, some patients relapse after treatment for reasons that are unclear. The goal of this research is to understand how a person's immune system changes during treatment of HCV infection with all oral therapy, and how these changes might impact the chances of relapse after treatment. To address these questions, blood and clinical information will be collected from study participants over the course of receiving standard of care treatment for HCV infection. This blood and clinical information will be used to conduct laboratory research focused on the immune system.
Keloid disease predominantly affects African Americans, Hispanics and some Asians. Keloid disease is characterized by an overgrowth of an area of the skin following some injury to that same skin area. It is unknown why this occurs. However, we believe that differences in Vitamin D along with dysfunction in certain immune system receptors can lead to keloid disease. To further understand this process we intend to study the cells (fibroblasts) in the skin that are affected by Vitamin D and examine the specific immune proteins.
The Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in Gullah Health, or SLEIGH, study is an observational study enrolling African Americans from the Sea Island communities of South Carolina and Georgia. We are enrolling patients, family members of patients, and unrelated community members. SLE is a potentially severe disease that can affect the entire body. SLE is more common in African Americans than Caucasians. The main purpose of this study is to find genes that, along with factors from the environment, result in the development of SLE. Volunteers in SLEIGH will be asked to answer questions about their health and have blood and urine collected for tests. After the first visit there may be one additional visit 2 or more years later. This is not a drug study.