Researchers at OMRF are looking for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus patients to take part in studies of new treatments for the diseases.
OMRF’s Clinical Pharmacology Research Program conducts pharmaceutical studies on rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
“We are in a unique position here at OMRF in that we are able to conduct clinical trials that are directly connected to our laboratory research,” said Joan Merrill, M.D., chair of OMRF’s Clinical Pharmacology Research Program.
According to Ewa Olech, M.D., the lead researcher on the studies for rheumatoid arthritis, the relationship between basic research and trials of investigational treatments in patients is crucial in developing new therapies. “Information gathered in the lab helps optimize the studies of new drugs, and at the same time what we learn from the drug studies helps basic research,” she said.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic illness marked by inflammation of the lining of the joints. The symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints; ultimately, the disease can result in loss of function and disability. More than 2 million adults in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system loses its ability to differentiate between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues, causing the body to attack itself. The chronic disease can affect any part of the body; it most commonly strikes the skin, joints, blood and kidneys. The Lupus Foundation of America estimates about 2 million Americans suffer from the disease, which can be life-threatening and has no known cure.
People with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis or lupus who would be interested in participating in research can contact OMRF’s Clinical Pharmacology Research Program at 405-271-7805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.