Scientists at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation need the help of minority volunteers to help expand their collection of human blood samples for research. Healthy individuals ages 19-90 are encouraged to participate.

“Our sample collection is a priceless resource that helps us learn more about diseases and identify better ways to treat and even prevent them,” said OMRF physician-scientist and Vice President of Clinical Affairs Judith James, M.D., Ph.D. of Edmond.

The foundation hopes to recruit up to 2,000 healthy African-American, Hispanic and American Indian individuals who are willing to have their blood samples stored and tested for blood markers of lupus, a disease in which the immune system becomes unbalanced and attacks the body’s own tissues. Lupus can result in damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, heart and lungs.

“For decades, we have worked with scientists worldwide to unlock the secrets of autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and others that tend to disproportionally strike minorities,” said James. “By donating these samples for research and further study, these generous people can help us learn more about lupus and other autoimmune diseases.”

The samples collected will be stored in OMRF’s Biorepository, an ultra-cold facility that houses more than 1 million coded biological samples gathered from research subjects over the past three decades. The biorepository serves as a resource for many clinical studies, as well as for multiple research projects around the globe.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information about the study, please call (405) 271-7221 or email Virginia-roberts@omrf.org.

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