OMRF is seeking volunteers who have been diagnosed with sarcoidosis to provide blood sample donations. For the studies, OMRF also needs healthy volunteers to serve as controls.
Sarcoidosis is a painful condition where cells in the immune system that cause inflammation overreact and cluster together to form tiny lumps called granulomas. These tumor-like clumps can form in the eyes, liver, skin and brain and most often are found in the lungs. If too many form in a single organ, they can cause the organ to malfunction or even fail.
Although it can strike anyone, sarcoidosis disproportionately affects African Americans. According to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR), the lifetime risk of developing sarcoidosis may be as high as 2% among African Americans.
OMRF scientist Umesh Deshmukh, Ph.D., a part of OMRF’s Sarcoidosis Research Unit, recently received a grant from the FSR to support the development of new sarcoidosis research models. The work is designed to aid in understanding how the disease first develops and progresses.
“Research like Dr. Deshmukh’s moves forward thanks to generous people willing to donate samples to our studies,” said Courtney Montgomery, Ph.D., who leads the research unit. “When we’re able to better characterize what exactly is going wrong in the body, we may be able to discover what triggers the disease and develop effective treatments.”
OMRF’s research unit has made significant gains in understanding the disease. Thanks to samples donated by previous research volunteers, Montgomery’s lab recently found that the hallmark inflammation in sarcoidosis is likely driven by a single cell type. Such breakthroughs get scientists closer to finding relief for patients, Montgomery said, and with more participants, she hopes for more progress.
For this research study, participants will undergo a screening process, complete questionnaires and donate blood to be used for research. No treatment is administered. Participants will be compensated $20 per visit, and strict Covid-19 protocols will be followed to ensure participant safety.
To participate or for more information, please contact OMRF’s Sarcoidosis Research Unit at 405-271-2504, 800-605-7447 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding for the research unit is provided by a grant (R01 HL113326-06A1-05) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, and from the FSR.