The Oklahoma Autoimmunity Center of Excellence (OACE) connects OMRF to top-tier research and clinical sites devoted to improving the lives of patients with autoimmune diseases through research. The OACE is one of only eight such centers in the United States; the others are at Emory, the Feinstein Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, and Weill Cornell Medical College. Collectively, these Centers focus on understanding the biology of autoimmune disease flares in order to improve the lives of autoimmune disease patients through better diagnosis, clinical trial design, therapeutic development, and treatment selection. The goals of the OACE are to:
- Foster integration of a growing multidisciplinary group of basic scientists and clinical investigators in OACE to study fundamental aspects of autoimmunity.
- Perform studies that address critical hypotheses on mechanisms of autoimmune disease flare through partnerships between basic and clinical scientists.
- Provide common educational forums to expand interactions and allow cross-fertilization of ideas between investigators from different disease areas.
- Use OACE’s combined expertise in genetics, genomics, epigenetics, immunology, and novel analytic approaches to design and perform ancillary mechanistic studies with ACE clinical trials.
- Cultivate and expand collaborations between Oklahoma ACE investigators and between the OACE and other ACE sites.
- Provide the administrative, financial, and technical foundation to OACE investigators to accelerate their progress in understanding the etiology, pathogenesis, and management of autoimmune diseases.
Funding for the research is provided by grant No. U19AI082714 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.