Iowa Joins Sarcoidosis Research Network

Through a collaborative effort among Drs. Nabeel Hamzeh, Alicia Gerke, Karin Hoth (Department of Psychiatry), and Knute Carter (College of Public Health), University of Iowa Health Care has been selected to join the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research Clinical Studies Network. Iowa joins 11 other sites in the United States and Europe to collaborate on multi-site studies and drug trials focusing on sarcoidosis. The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sarcoidosis with a mission to improve care for sarcoidosis patients (www.stopsarcoidosis.org).

Dr. Hamzeh is the director of Iowa’s Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) program and has been expanding the scope of the institution’s clinical efforts and its sarcoidosis research since returning to the University of Iowa last year. Part of the effort in finding effective treatments for this inflammatory disease is better understanding its underlying mechanisms. This involves everything from Dr. Hamzeh’s work in studying the epigenetic modifications of T-cell immunity in sarcoidosis to Dr. Gerke’s work building and maintaining a national registry of sarcoidosis patients. Other members of the ILD team include Dr. Lakshmi Durairaj, Dr. Kamonpun Ussavarungsi, and ARNP Sara Krause.

Becoming a part of the Clinical Studies Network will also move Iowa’s discoveries forward more quickly. “Iowa’s inclusion in the network will provide our patients with the opportunity to participate in sarcoidosis studies to advance our knowledge of this disease, which ultimately translates into better care for our patients.” In announcing the award, the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research said, “The selection process was very competitive and our external review panel had a difficult decision among the many highly qualified proposals.” It is a mark of distinction that University of Iowa Health Care joins this network.