When the Human Genome Project was completed and published in 2003, it was hailed as a “detailed blueprint for building every human cell.” Scientists finally had a sort of operating manual for the more than 20,000 genes that determine every characteristic present in a human being.
Today, we use that genetic information to help answer questions about systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, leading to inflammation, organ failure and, in some cases, death. By comparing the genetic information of normal individuals with that of people with lupus, we are able to pinpoint specific differences that might account for the onset of disease.
Because lupus often occurs in families, genetic data gathered from them may help us create tools for predicting when it will strike and finding ways to stop it. In my lab, we hope to develop better treatments for lupus, as well as ways to monitor those already afflicted with the disease.
Improving our understanding of the genetic basis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a major focus of the work in our laboratory. SLE is a prototypic autoimmune disease characterized by the production of antibodies that react with a wide variety of tissues resulting in systemic inflammation and organ failure.
From over a decade of work on the genetics of SLE, it is now clear that the risk of developing SLE is strongly influenced by genetic polymorphisms inherited within families. We use rapid high-capacity genotyping technology to systematically evaluate genetic polymorphisms associated with human SLE. With the completion of our genome-wide association study many new genetic targets will be identified and will require further replication. We are engaged in all phases of genetic evaluation from discovery to validation to functional characterization in model systems. The overall objective of these studies is to develop a comprehensive view of the genetic landscape of SLE and then use that information to develop new and improved treatments, predictive tools and monitoring programs for patients with SLE.
B.S., Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN, 1983
M.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1991
Honors and Awards
1996 Midwest Trainee Investigator Award, American Federation for Clinical Research
1997 Molecular Genetics Fellowship, University of Minnesota
1998 Participant, Genetic-Epidemiological Studies of Complex Diseases, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
1999 NIH NIAMS Clinical Investigator Award
2000 Young Investigator Award, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota
2005 Cancer and Leukemia Group B Junior Faculty Research Award
2006 Faculty Career Development Award, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota
2008, 2011 The Merrick Award for Outstanding Research, Merrick Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK
2013 Edward L. and Thelma Gaylord Prize for Scientific Achievement, Oklahoma City, OK
2013 J.G. Puterbaugh Chair in Medical Research, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK
Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, SLE Biomarkers Working Group (2004 to present)
Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, DeCide Clinical Trial, University of Chicago Medical School (2005 to present)
Member, SLEGEN Consortium Data Analysis Committee (2006 to present)
American Society of Hematology
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Human Genetics
American Association for Cancer Research
American College of Rheumatology
Joined OMRF Scientific Staff in 2007
Wang CC, Ortiz-González XR, Yum SW, Gill SM, White A, Kelter E, Seaver LH, Lee S, Wiley G, Gaffney PM, Wierenga KJ, Rasband MN. βIV Spectrinopathies Cause Profound Intellectual Disability, Congenital Hypotonia, and Motor Axonal Neuropathy. Am J Hum Genet. 2018 Jun 7;102(6):1158-1168. PMID: 29861105
Kottyan LC, Maddox A, Braxton JR, Stucke EM, Mukkada V, Putnam PE, Abonia JP, Chehade M, Wood RA, Pesek RD, Vickery BP, Furuta GT, Dawson P, Sampson HA, Martin LJ, Kelly JA, Kimberly RP, Sivils K, Gaffney PM, Kaufman K, Harley JB, Rothenberg ME. Genetic variants at the 16p13 locus confer risk for eosinophilic esophagitis. Genes Immun. 2018 Jun 8. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29904099
Patel Z, Lu X, Miller D, Forney CR, Lee J, Lynch A, Schroeder C, Parks L, Magnusen AF, Chen X, Pujato M, Maddox A, Zoller EE, Namjou B, Brunner HI, Henrickson M, Huggins JL, Williams AH, Ziegler JT, Comeau ME, Marion MC, Glenn SB, Adler A, Shen N, Nath SK, Stevens AM, Freedman BI, Pons-Estel BA, Tsao BP, Jacob CO, Kamen DL, Brown EE, Gilkeson GS, Alarcón GS, Martin J, Reveille JD, Anaya JM, James JA, Sivils KL, Criswell LA, Vilá LM, Petri M, Scofield RH, Kimberly RP, Edberg JC, Ramsey-Goldman R, Bang SY, Lee HS, Bae SC, Boackle SA, Cunninghame Graham D, Vyse TJ, Merrill JT, Niewold TB, Ainsworth HC, Silverman ED, Weisman MH, Wallace DJ, Raj P, Guthridge JM, Gaffney PM, Kelly JA, Alarcón-Riquelme ME, Langefeld CD, Wakeland EK, Kaufman KM, Weirauch MT, Harley JB, Kottyan LC. A plausibly causal functional lupus-associated risk variant in the STAT1-STAT4 locus. Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Apr 18. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29912393
Li H, Reksten TR, Ice JA, K...Gaffney PM, James JA, Turner S, Alevizos I, Anaya JM, Rhodus NL, Segal BM, Montgomery CG, Scofield RH, Kovats S, Mariette X, Rönnblom L, Witte T, Rischmueller M, Wahren-Herlenius M, Omdal R, Jonsson R, Ng WF; for UK Primary Sjögren's Syndrome Registry, Nordmark G, Lessard CJ, Sivils KL. Identification of a Sjögren's syndrome susceptibility locus at OAS1 that influences isoform switching, protein expression, and responsiveness to type I interferons. PLoS Genet. 2017 Jun 22;13(6):e1006820. PMID: 28640813
Gough AT, Fieraru G, Gaffney P, Butler M, Kincaid RJ, Middleton RG. A novel use of QR code stickers after orthopaedic cast application. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2017 Jul;99(6):476-478. PMID: 28660817
Morris DL, Sheng Y, Zhang Y, ..., Gaffney PM, Lau YL, Zhang X, Yang W, Cui Y, Vyse TJ. Genome-wide association meta-analysis in Chinese and European individuals identifies ten new loci associated with systemic lupus erythematosus. Nat Genet. 2016 Jul 11. [Abstract]
Young KA, Munroe ME, Guthridge JM, Kamen DL, Niewold TB, Gilkeson GS, Weisman MH, Ishimori ML, Kelly J, Gaffney PM, Sivils KH, Lu R, Wallace DJ, Karp DR, Harley JB, James JA, Norris JM. Combined role of vitamin D status and CYP24A1 in the transition to systemic lupus erythematosus. Ann Rheum Dis. 2016 Jun 9. pii: annrheumdis-2016-209157. [Abstract]
Raj P, Rai E, Song R, Khan S, Wakeland BE, Viswanathan K, Arana C, Liang C, Zhang B, Dozmorov I, Carr-Johnson F, Mitrovic M, Wiley GB, Kelly JA, Lauwerys BR, Olsen NJ, Cotsapas C, Garcia CK, Wise CA, Harley JB, Nath SK, James JA, Jacob CO, Tsao BP, Pasare C, Karp DR, Li QZ, Gaffney PM, Wakeland EK. Regulatory polymorphisms modulate the expression of HLA class II molecules and promote autoimmunity. Elife. 2016 Feb 16;5. pii: e12089. [Abstract]
* Zhao J, Wu H, Langefeld CD, Kaufman KM, Kelly JA, Bae SC, Alarcon GS, Anaya JM, Criswell LA, Freedman BI, Kamen DL, Gilkeson GS, Jacob CO, James JA, Merrill JT, Gaffney PM, Sivils KM, Niewold TB, Petri MA, Song ST, Jeong HJ, Ramsey-Goldman R, Reveille JD, Scofield RH, Stevens AM, Boackle SA, Vila LM, Chang DM, Song YW, Vyse TJ, Harley JB, Brown EE, Edberg JC, Kimberly RP, Hahn BH, Grossman JM, Tsao BP, La Cava A. Genetic associations of leptin-related polymorphisms with systemic lupus erythematosus. Clin Immunol 2015. [Abstract] EPub
Arthritis & Clinical Immunology Research Program, MS 57
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
825 N.E. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 271-2572
Fax: (405) 271-3045
Ying-Yu Wu, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Member
Satish Pasula, Ph.D.
Associate Staff Scientist
Feng Daniel Wen
Associate Staff Scientist
Graham Wiley, Ph.D.
Associate Staff Scientist
Mandi Wiley, Ph.D.
Assistant Staff Scientist
Research Project Director
Kandice Tessneer, Ph.D.
Science Writer Specialist
Yao Fu, Ph.D.
Jim Warner, Ph.D.
Senior Research Assistant
News from the Gaffney lab
The National Institutes of Health awarded grants worth more than $4 million to two OMRF scientists. Patrick Gaffney, M.D., and Courtney Griffin, Ph.D., were each awarded five-year R01 grants to research genes related to lupus and vascular development, respectively. After identifying two genes associated with lupus—a chronic autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 2 million […]
The National Institutes of Health has awarded 17 grants worth a total of $14.7 million to OMRF. The grants are part of the $10 billion in economic stimulus funds that will be provided for medical research through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The grants will fund OMRF research on a wide array […]
OMRF has received a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the autoimmune disease lupus. The five-year award comes from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH. The grant will support research on the genetic origins of lupus, which affects up to an estimated 2 million Americans […]
Four Oklahomans joined the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s Board of Directors at OMRF’s semiannual board meeting Wednesday. Also at the meeting, three OMRF scientists were honored. Joining the board are Dave Bialis, Ramsey Drake and Cliff Hudson of Oklahoma City and Harold Hamm of Enid. Bialis is president of Cox Oklahoma. His civic involvement includes […]
An international consortium of scientists led by OMRF investigator John B. Harley, M.D., Ph.D., has identified multiple genes linked to lupus, a devastating autoimmune disease that affects as many as 2 million Americans and 15 million people worldwide. The group’s findings appear online in two related articles in the Feb. edition of the journal Nature […]
The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation today announced the addition of four scientists to the faculty of its Arthritis & Immunology Research Program. The four new faculty members are Patrick Gaffney, M.D., Kathy Moser, Ph.D., Jonathan Wren, Ph.D., and Igor Dozmorov, Ph.D. “Their recruitment gives us a depth of scientific commitment and expertise that is unparalleled […]