Oregon Health Sciences University Celiac Disease Study

2 Comments 12 November 2008

Hey! Do you live in Oregon? Would you like to participate in a medical study related to celiac disease?

I just found out my peeps in Portland, Oregon are studying celiac disease genes. OHSU is a top notch medical university. (I know firsthand because I used to go get dental work done there when I was struggling financially as a young adult. The professors there loved my weirdo baby teeth that didn't want to move on and let the adult teeth make their debut. Maybe this is too much information?) They'll even pay you! You can then go treat yourself to some gluten-free groceries!

Here is the email I received the other day with all of the details:

A review of scientific literature indicates that there is a high correlation between autoimmune disease and genetic predisposition of certain human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes. For example, the review showed that 90% of celiac patients have the HLA-DQ2 gene; the number indicates a specific version of the gene from a possible 2 through 9. In the past several years, we have developed a novel technology by engineering the specific HLA-gene with an immunodominant antigen to create a recombinant molecule that has had great success in treating experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for MS. Now the molecule is being tested in a Phase-I human clinical trial. We would like to use a similar technique for studying Celiac Disease.

At the initial stage of the study, we would like to find potential ongoing blood donors from CD patients or potential CD patients. We need to screen all blood donors for their genetic HLA phenotype. We are hoping to find a couple of donors whose genotype indicates that both the maternal and paternal copies of their HLA-DQ genes are DQ2. The potential donor should also be diagnosed with, or show significant symptoms of, Celiac Disease. Should the initial genetic typing work show promise, we would then ask for ongoing blood donations from the donor. Those blood cells will be used to evaluate the potential drug.

Donors will be asked to give about an hour of their time for each blood draw that will occur on the Marquam Hill (Main) Campus of OHSU. Donors should be able to come in during weekday hours as our lab is typically not open on the weekend, although special arrangements may be possible. Donors will be asked to sign a consent form and will receive $30 for each blood draw. After the initial genotyping work is done, the donor will receive a copy of their resulting genetic information.

To schedule a draw, please contact Jianya Huan, Ph.D. at (503) 494-9950 or by email: huanj@ohsu.edu

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Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. 1
    Nancy Lapid says:

    I have celiac disease and I had the exact same dental issue — baby teeth that didn’t want to move on and let the grown-up teeth come down. (And believe me, that’s making a long story short.) I too was a favorite of my dentists — I think they wrote papers about me.

  2. 2
    CeliacChick says:

    Nancy- And I almost didn’t include that bit of trivia! Seriously though, amazing professional care for a fraction of the price. This is an interesting coincidence. I actually have decent teeth, that have behaved for the most part. The one I was talking about, couldn’t come out on schedule and so when the baby fell out at around the age of 22 it left it twisted facing my cheek instead of pointing down. I have naturally straight teeth, but this one tooth needed 3 brackets of braces to bring it down into the proper position. I actually have two more baby teeth that don’t have adult teeth above them. They’ve hung in there so far! Not looking forward to the day I need bridges! I’m sure it is genetic…(not necessarily celiac related) my one brother has the same situation. I think it is actually more common than we realize. I just wanted to let everyone out there know that if you are in a pinch financially and need health services- check out your local medical/dental college. It’s top notch care and they love special cases.

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Kelly Courson


Thanks for stopping by! I'm Kelly Courson and this is where I've shared my gluten-free finds since 2003. The world has been my gluten-free oyster for 14 years now and I love sharing what I've learned in order to help others adapt to a gluten-free diet. Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. Connecting with people like you is what has kept me going this long! Seriously.

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