Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2010
Mentor: Benjamin Chong, MD
Room number: JA5.120D
Mail Code: 9069
Phone number: 214-648-5088
Project title: Quality of Life in Cutaneous Lupus Patients
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 112008-008
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Project Type (patient-based research, animal-based research, or basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects): patient-based research
Brief Description of Project: Approximately 70% of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients have cutaneous lupus. Cutaneous lupus, which has three major subtypes, acute cutaneous lupus, subacute cutaneous lupus, and chronic cutaneous lupus, has a multi-factorial etiology that includes genetic, environmental, and immunological causes. We have established a registry of cutaneous lupus patients that would be beneficial in understanding the disease better. As we prospectively follow these patients over time and collect clinical information from their histories and physicals, we will conduct quality of life studies using general quality of life and skin-specific questionnaires to assess how debilitating their disease is and how well their disease severity correlates with a recently validated measurement instrument called the Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus Disease Area and Severity Index. We also plan to correlate their quality of life scores with various patient characteristics including socioeconomic level, education level, ethnicity, and affected body areas.
The student will be administering the QOL questionnaires himself, collecting the information, and analyzing the data. He will be also responsible in collecting patient characteristics including socioeconomic level, education level, ethnicity, and affected body areas. In terms of the Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus Disease Area and Severity Index measures, the student will not be doing this, since he is not trained to do so. The PI will be examining these cutaneous lupus patients and grading the skin severity of these patients with the Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus Disease Area and Severity Index scores. The PI will be working on this project with him, and we are doing this in coordination with a group at University of Pennsylvania in hopes of comparing our QOL data with these two different populations in Philadelphia and Dallas. During this summer, we anticipate that he will probably collect information from about 50 cutaneous lupus patients, some of whom are already in our registry, and others who will be new to the registry. For patients already in the registry, we have information on ethnicity and affected body areas, but we do not have information on socioeconomic level or education level.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
"The Search for Distinctive Autoantibodies in Discoid Lupus" - Heidi Prather, MSIV, July 2009.
Chong BF, Pazandak AB, Prather HB, Li Q, Olsen NJ, Mohan C. Dermatoproteome arrays - a novel immunoassay method for stratification of systemic and cutaneous lupus erythematosus phenotypes. Accepted to the Society of Investigative Dermatology Meeting (Poster, Oral), May 2010, Atlanta, GA.
"Assembling a Tissue and Serum Repository for Cutaneous Lupus Patients"
- Rebecca Vasquez, MSIV, October-December 2009.