Immunology of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and Adult Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)Date Added: 7/10/2006 9:37:00 AM
Last Updated: 5/24/2011 3:18:00 PM
Description of projects available to graduate students:
JIA and adult RA are considered to be autoimmune conditions. Despite numerous elegant animal models, the cause of autoimmunity in either case remains unknown. And although lymphocyte clonal expansion and synovial fibroblast hyperplasia have been implicated in disease pathogenesis, JIA and adult RA are also distinct clinical and immunological entities; JIA does not become RA when the afflicted child with JIA enters adulthood.
We are therefore examining similarities and differences in the nature, extent, and functional consequences of lymphocyte and fibroblast expansion in JiA and in RA.
Current patient-oriented projects are designed to:
(a) characterize functional subsets of synovial fibroblasts and clonally expanded lymphocytes, and how they relate to disease activity and/or response to therapy;
(b) examine fibroblast-lymphocyte regulatory circuits;
(c) compare lymphocyte repertoire diversity between JIA and RA, and identify subsets of immune cells that distinguish between the two diseases; and
(d) as JIA has several clinically defined disease subtypes, we are examining the immunologic differences between disease subsets including responses to therapy.
Techniques graduate student will learn:
Human cell/tissue culture
Flow cytometry and optical morphology
DNA/RNA manipulation including gene expression assays
Bioassays of immune function
Multiplex humoral assays
Cell signaling assays
Protein biochemistry including mass spectrometry
Population genetics and molecular phylogeny
Large cohort studies integrating laboratory and clinical data sets
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