Pre-diagnostic Plasma Metabolites and Risk of Psoriasis
Grantee: Sara Ragi
Mentor: Eunyoung Cho, Sc.D.
Institution: Brown University
Grant Mechanism: Summer Student Research Grant
Funding Amount: $5,000
Project Start Date: May 15, 2023
Project End Date: July 24, 2023
Keywords: Psoriasis, Clinical Research, Biomarkers, Epidemiology, Prevention
Psoriasis is a complex immune-mediated disease with a prevalence of 3% in the United States and representing 84.1% of medical dermatology visits in North America. Psoriasis has a multifactorial etiology involving the interaction of genetic, metabolic, and environmental factors. We propose conducting a metabolomic analysis in a nested case-control study including 264 psoriasis cases and 9,326 controls within two large, ongoing prospective cohorts of female registered nurses. We seek to clarify the role of metabolite levels and dysregulation in metabolic pathways in the pathogenesis of psoriasis as the biological mechanisms by which circulating metabolites affect psoriatic disease risk remain unknown. Identifying increased or decreased biomarkers of psoriatic disease may enable enhanced screening guidelines and opportunities for a cure. Establishing the metabolic alterations of psoriasis may help in primary prevention, and facilitate earlier diagnosis and subsequent interventions. The objectives of our study are to characterize a wide range of plasma metabolome alterations in psoriasis patients and provide new insights into the pathomechanisms of psoriatic disease.
Career Development Statement:
Through clinical and research experiences I have developed a strong interest in psoriasis. After observing the ramifications of psoriasis and its significant effect on patients’ quality of life, I sought out opportunities for exposure including research projects on the metabolomics and epigenetic alterations of psoriatic disease. In leading these projects I have gained invaluable analytical/research skills and learned about the complexities of psoriatic disease. Additionally, I have served on the Dermatology Interest Group Association (DIGA) Psoriasis Committee for over two years and created educational content for patients and medical students. We plan to work with the NPF to disseminate a curriculum on psoriasis to medical students nationally. Through the Summer Student Research Grant, I would be afforded the opportunity to contribute new insights into the metabolomics of psoriasis and develop important skills for a career as an academic dermatologist investigating a cure for psoriasis.