Posts Tagged 'SLE'

Introducing My Lupus Research Project

My name is Ami Yamamoto, and I have the great opportunity of being one of the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota’s  Student Summer Fellows for 2013. This summer, I am studying under Erik Peterson, M.D., in the Department of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.

As I will write about in more detail in a later post, my project is to contribute to research on the gene PTPN22 which Dr. Peterson and his team thinks ...

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ayamamoto
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Local lupus study recruiting participants

SLE is an autoimmune disease capable of causing severe tissue damage in many organs. The cause of SLE is unknown, but recent research has identified infection-fighting proteins called interferons (or IFNs) which are made and released by host cells in response to the presence of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, parasites or tumor cells. IFNs allow for communication between cells to trigger the protective defenses of the immune system that eradicate pathogens or tumors.

In this ...

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Genes are “Interferin’ with lupus family business

It is common knowledge that lupus runs in families. In fact, primary relatives (siblings, parents, children) of a person with the condition have a three- to five-fold increased risk of developing the disease compared with the average person on the street. But until just the last decade, we haven’t known how increased risk of lupus could be inherited.

Figuring out how lupus runs in families has been complicated. Lupus is not like some genetic diseases carrying a high profile in the ...

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epeterson
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“Colonel Mustard did it with the candlestick in the library.”

“Colonel Mustard did it with the candlestick in the library.”

One hears statements of this kind while playing the popular board game “Clue.” Players of Clue must travel around an imaginary old mansion while collecting hints. Based on hints, players make educated guesses about the “where, who, and with what weapon” facts of a murder mystery.

Pursuing better treatments and cures for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a little like playing an exceedingly complicated game of Clue. Villainous SLE ...

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epeterson
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Come hell or high water

“I recommend that you take the medication each day, come hell or high water.”

I sometimes use this cliché’ phrase as I counsel patients suffering with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Clinical research shows that diligence and persistence in use of immune system-modulating drugs is important for optimal disease control for many people with SLE. Some drugs need to be taken day in and day out, for months or years, to be most effective. Repeated clinic visits, blood monitoring requirements, pharmacy charges, ...

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epeterson
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Gaffney is Rewriting the “User’s Manual”

With the completion of the Human Genome Project. Scientists promised the world a sort of “user’s manual” for the human body and commentators predicted the end of disease.
 
While those results have not yet arrived, it’s researchers like the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s Patrick Gaffney, M.D., who are trying to get the world there.
 
If DNA is the “Big Book of You,” with billions of pages ...

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A summer of opportunities

This summer was amazing! I can’t even begin to describe how beneficial this summer fellowship was to my future career as a scientist. I learned so many new protocols that I can add to my list, as well as just how a lab works in general. I always thought labs had an impersonal and competitive environment, but this summer I got to see just how collaborative everyone was within and between labs.

I also got to do some amazing things that ...

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blauer
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Collaboration leads to solutions

This week I really got to dig into my individual summer project! It’s a joint project with Dr. Jerry Molitor who is focused on scleroderma. Seeing collaboration between labs is so refreshing because instead of seeing a highly competitive and self-contained atmosphere, my experience has been full of data sharing and collaborative efforts in order to come up with solutions.  He even said I could visit his clinic and shadow him, which is an amazing opportunity that I’m excited for.

The ...

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blauer
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“I now feel like a real scientist …”

Over the past two weeks, I have performed pilot experiments to finalize the design of my final project. One of these pilots compared an infected wild type model with an uninfected one; wild type means that the model has not been genetically modified in any way.

A day after infection, I examined spleen for the presence of certain dendritic cell variants. Dendritic cells are one of many types of white blood cells, and some of their subsets are found in greater ...

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pmiozzo
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Lupus research: a balancing act

This week I learned how to balance doing multiple things in a laboratory! Sometimes you can have three different experiments running at once, and you have to make sure you know what all of them are doing. I’m doing a lot of different protocols, like RNA extraction, DNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, and Toll-Like Receptor stimulations.

This week I also got to meet with Dr. Jerry Molitor who is an Associate Professor of Medicine in Rheumatology, working at clinics here at the ...

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