NPF-Funded Research

Sex Dimorphism in Psoriatic Arthritis: Integrative Analysis of Proteomic and Imaging Data

Lihi Eder

Principal Investigator: Lihi Eder, M.D., Ph.D.
Women's College Hospital

Grant Mechanism: Discovery Grant
Funding Amount: $75,000
Project Start Date: August 1, 2023
Project End Date: July 31, 2024
Status: Active
Keywords: Psoriatic Arthritis, Multi-omics, Immunology, Inflammation, Computational Biology, Biomarkers, Clinical Research, Basic Science

Project Summary:

There are many differences in the ways psoriatic arthritis (PsA) affects men and women. Women suffer from more pain, while men develop more joint damage. Importantly, biologic treatments for PsA are less effective for women than men. It remains unclear if these differences are due to biological variations in immune response between males and females.

We aim to identify biological pathways that explain these differences between males and females living with PsA using advanced proteomics technology. We will identify differences in levels of relevant proteins between male and female patients with PsA and healthy controls. We will assess the relevance of these differences by incorporating clinical and imaging data on PsA. Ultimately, we will determine biological pathways that explain the differences in disease course between men and women with PsA, which will support the development of precise, sex-specific diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment selection for all people living with PsA.

How will your project help improve the lives of the 125 million affected by psoriatic disease?

Our research is expected to increase the understanding of the biological mechanisms that underlie the differences in disease course and response to therapy between men and women with PsA. In line with the NPF mission to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected, the results of this research could help develop sex-specific biomarker tools for diagnosing and monitoring PsA more effectively, identify new targets for sex-specific treatments, and guide selection of existing targeted therapies. Ultimately this research program will ensure equitable and effective management of PsA for both men and women.

Why is psoriatic disease research important to you, personally? What role will this award play in your research efforts or career development?

Psoriatic disease is the focus of my clinical and research interest. I aim to better understand underlying mechanisms of this condition and then implement them in my practice. Personally, having a family member living with psoriatic disease is another factor that motivates me to further improve the management of this condition.

Researcher Profile:

Dr. Eder is a Clinician-Scientist at Women's College Research Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. Eder has a broad background in rheumatology with specific training and expertise in clinical epidemiology and imaging of psoriatic arthritis and cardiovascular diseases in rheumatic patients. She is Director of the Psoriatic Arthritis program at Women's College Hospital and co-Director, University of Toronto, Cardio-Rheumatology Program, an interdisciplinary program that aims to improve the management of cardiovascular morbidities in rheumatic patients by developing novel models of care and through research and educational activities. Dr. Eder was awarded Canada Research Chair in Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases (2021-2026) for studying barriers of equitable care in rheumatology including the role of sex and gender as determinants of disease outcomes.

Dr. Eder's research efforts have resulted in over 150 peer-reviewed publications in medical journals, book chapters, and editorials. She is frequently invited to present the result of her studies in national and international conferences in the fields of rheumatology, dermatology, and cardiology. She is an elected member of GRAPPA steering committee and President of the Canadian Rheumatology Ultrasound Society. As a recognized expert in rheumatology, she received a New Investigator Award from the Arthritis Society (2016), Early Research Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research Innovation and Science (2018), and Emerging Investigator Award from the Canadian Rheumatology Association (2023).

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