Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2011
Mentor: Benjamin Chong, MD
Room number: JA5.120D
Mail Code: 9069
Phone number: 214-648-5088
Project title: Dermatoproteome Arrays – A Novel Immunoassay Method for Cutaneous Lupus
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 082010-241
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: Autoantibodies are important in the diagnosis, prognostication, and classification of autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Furthermore, they are intricately involved in the pathogenesis of SLE. Although mouse models have proposed promising candidates, distinctive autoantibodies have yet to be characterized in most cutaneous lupus patients. Their identification in cutaneous lupus could pave the way for new biomarker candidates that simplify diagnosis, predict prognosis, and clarify etiology. Radioimmunoassays were mostly unsuccessful in determining up-regulated autoantibodies in the majority of cutaneous lupus patients. Because radioimmunoassays detect a single autoantibody at a time, they are not efficient in detecting novel autoantibodies and do not provide a comprehensive picture of the immune profile of a patient. To address this problem, miniaturized arrays containing purified autoantigens were devised. Addition of patient sera and fluorescent secondary antibodies to these arrays facilitates the simultaneous detection of numerous autoantibodies. Moreover, the arrays demonstrated higher throughput and 4-8-fold greater sensitivity compared to ELISAs. The purpose of this study is to utilize a similar approach using cutaneous autoantigens plated in glass slides (“dermatoproteome” arrays). We postulate the existence of unique skin-related autoantigens not yet found in cutaneous lupus. We seek to characterize autoantibody profiles and identify distinctive and novel autoantibodies in cutaneous lupus patients.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
“The Search for Distinctive Autoantibodies in Discoid Lupus” – Heidi Prather, MSIV, July 2009.
“Assembling a Tissue and Serum Repository for Cutaneous Lupus Patients” – Rebecca Vasquez, MSIV, October-December 2009.
“Quality of Life Studies in Patients with Cutaneous Lupus” – Jonathan Quoc P. Tran, MSI, June-July 2010, Daniel Wang, MSIII, February 2011-present
“25-hydroxyvitamin D Levels in Cutaneous Lupus Patients” – Francisco Perese, MSI, June-July 2010, Andrew Word, MSIII, January 2011-present
“Microarray Analysis in Discoid Lupus Patients” – Shurong Chang, MSIV, January 2010-present
“Risk Factor Assessment of Systemic Involvement in Discoid Lupus Patients” – Roselynn Nguyen, MSIII, February 2011-present