Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2007
Mentor: Lawson A. B. Copley, M.D.
Department: Orthopaedic Surgery
Room number: D03-314.2
Mail Code: B3359 (Kimberly Laisure)
Phone number: 214-456-5614
Project title: Identification of Human Genetic Factors Predisposing Children to Musculoskeletal Infection
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 052007-045; Approval pending; Submitted May 15, 2007.
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Project Type: Patient-based research
Brief Description of Project:
The purpose of this study is to evaluate human genetic factors that may influence
the manifestations of musculoskeletal infection in children. There is evidence
to suggest that genetically encoded bacterial virulence factors may influence
the severity of illness induced by the causative organism. There is also evidence
which indicates that the host genome may also play a role in the susceptibility
to invasive infection. Protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPN22) gene mutations
are associated with susceptibility to autoimmune diseases as well as invasive
bacterial infection. We hypothesize that the Trp620 variant of PTPN22 may be
associated with susceptibility to deep musculoskeletal infection in children.
Because little is known, or reported, about the potential of human genetic factors to influence the clinical manifestations of musculoskeletal infection in children, a broader aim of this study is to develop an overview of the gene expression of children who have specific types of musculoskeletal infection in comparison to age-matched controls. We hypothesize that a diagnostic signature will be formed by the genes of children who have developed deep infection of the musculoskeletal system caused by Staphylococcus aureus when they are compared to the genes of uninfected children. We also believe that diagnostic signatures may be different between the major diagnostic categories of musculoskeletal infection (osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, pyomyositis, and abscess).
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
I previously worked with Tyler Hollmig on a retrospective study of musculoskeletal
infection at Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Tyler was very productive
during his two summer's of work. He completed a comprehensive retrospective
review of 554 children with musculoskeletal infection, presented his research
at the Brandon Carrell Visiting Professorship of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital
for Children. He also completed his thesis for the M.D. with Distinction in
Tyler's work on the association of deep venous thrombosis and osteomyelitis was recently accepted for publication in the leading peer review journal of orthopedics, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
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