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.
The purpose of the study is to determine the feasibility of enrolling patients, obtaining colorectal cancer risk factor data via an in-person questionnaire, and procuring three types of biologic samples (normal mucosa biopsies, a salvia sample, and polyp tissue (if applicable)).
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.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) or scleroderma is an autoimmune disease in which a person's own immune cells attack his/her skin and internal organs, including the joints, lungs, heart, intestinal tract, and kidneys. The effects on the lungs, including pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), are among the most serious complications of SSc. In general, PAH is defined as an increase in pressure in the pulmonary arteries (the main blood vessels that lead from the heart to the lungs). Treatments for PAH have focused on symptom management rather than curing the disease.
This study has been designed to look at a new approach to treating the cause of the disease, rather than the symptoms of the disease. Recent research suggests that SSc-PAH may be the result of an "attack" by immune cells. This study will look at the effect of the drug rituximab on the immune system and the immune "attack" on the lungs. Rituximab is an immunosuppressive drug that eliminates the B cells for a few months, and therefore may halt the B cell attack on the lungs thought to be associated with this disease.The recovery of your B cells will be closely monitored throughout the study by blood testing.
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.