There is an emerging understanding that autoimmune diseases (ADs) have ‘pre-clinical’ states during which early immune changes occur that drive the later development of clinically-apparent disease. Importantly, an emerging area of interest is mucosal inflammation and immunity during pre-clinical states that may be a key driver in some AD’s.
The recognition of ‘pre-clinical’ stages of AD’s has driven an expanding number of studies that seek to identify the early pathogenic mechanisms of development of AD’s, with the goal of ultimately being able to prevent these diseases. However, there are unique challenges and opportunities to studying pre-clinical ADs. These include unique aspects of study design and implementation to study pre-clinical states, as well as challenges around procuring data and biospecimens from individuals at-risk for future ADs, and in particular mucosal samples.
The Population and Data Sciences Core (PDSC) is part of the Center for Mucosal Immunology and Rheumatic Disease Pathogenesis (CMIR) which is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Mission of the PDSC is to support research into the mechanisms of AD development with a focus on the preclinical stages by providing consultative services as well as access to unique preclinical data and biospecimens.
Director Kevin D. Deane, MD/PhD
Dr. Deane is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He has been PI or Co-I on multiple observational studies of preclinical rheumatoid arthritis; in addition, he is the PI on the ongoing NIH-funded StopRA trial that is studying the role of hydroxychloroquine to prevent or delay the onset of rheumatoid arthritis in high-risk individuals.
Co-Director Jill M. Norris, MPH/PhD
Dr. Norris is a Professor of Epidemiology and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. She has been the PI or Co-I on multiple pre-clinical and epidemiological studies across a number of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, and others.
Statistician Brandie Wagner, PhD
Dr. Wagner is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Biostatistics and Informatics at the Colorado School of Public Health. She has worked extensively in analyses of complex cross-sectional and longitudinal data, including microbiome analyses and biomarker discovery.
Core Manager Marie L. Feser, MSPH
Ms. Feser has extensive experience as project manager of multiple observational and clinical trials in autoimmune diseases.
Data Manager LauraKay Moss, BS
Ms. Moss has extensive experience in data management and delivery of high-quality datasets for analyses.
Contact Marie L. Feser, MSPH at email@example.com.