Led by Dr. Michael Ombrello, the unit uses genomic approaches to understand the underlying factors of autoinflammatory and rheumatic diseases.
Dr. Yongquan Luo is a biologist in the Pediatric Translational Research Branch. He is pursuing studies of mutation of gene WHAMM on pathogenesis in Axial spondyloarthritis using patient derived hiPSCs and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies.
What is alopecia areata? Alopecia areata is a disease that causes hair loss. In alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the structures in skin that form hair (hair follicles). Alopecia areata usually affects the head and face, though hair can be lost from any part of the body. Hair typically falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. In some cases, hair loss is more extensive.
What is ankylosing spondylitis? Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in certain parts of the spine. Over time, this inflammation in the joints and tissues of the spine can cause stiffness. In severe cases, this may cause the bones in the spine to grow together, which can lead to a rigid spine that is difficult to bend. Many people with ankylosing spondylitis have mild episodes of back pain and stiffness that come and go. But others have severe, ongoing back pain and stiffness. Other symptoms also may develop if other areas of the body are affected
The FDA approved Olumiant (baricitinib) oral tablets to treat adult patients with severe alopecia areata. The action marks the first FDA approval of a systemic treatment (i.e. treats the entire body rather than a specific location) for alopecia areata.
Dr. Kaplan’s research focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms that promote the initiation and perpetuation of perturbed immune responses and the development of organ damage and premature vascular disease in systemic autoimmunity.