Sarcoidosis Research at UCSF. Founded in the fall of 2009, the Sarcoidosis Research Program spans all aspects of research: clinical, translational and basic. Studies performed by members of this Program have identified the power of blood genomics in identifying markers of disease severity and overlap in expression of inflammatory pathway-related genes between the blood and lung. The Sarcoidosis Research Program consists of a cohort of patients with sarcoidosis and unaffected control subjects whom we are indebted to for their participation.

Below is a summary of the types of questions we are working to address:

  • How does the type and severity of respiratory symptoms relate to immune cells and markers in the blood? Can we identify new "targets" for therapy that could lessen the side effects of current treatment approaches?
  • Are there differences in the types of inflammatory markers in the blood of sarcoidosis subjects with lung disease compared to those without lung disease?
  • What can this tell us about the underlying biology of the disease or its progression?
  • Can we develop a blood-based test to diagnose sarcoidosis?
  • How common are neurologic symptoms in subjects with sarcoidosis and how do they relate to specific blood markers and other physical symptoms?
  • Can we use a non-invasive imaging test of the retina (called "Optical Coherence Tomography") to determine which subjects have neurological involvement in sarcoidosis? Also, can we use other non-invasive tests, such as electrophysiology of visual pathways and MRI of the brain to detect neurologic sarcoidosis and distinguish sarcoidosis from other neurological problems?
  • Are there blood markers that can help to identify patients with neurologic sarcoidosis and measure disease activity?
  • How does fatigue and its severity relate to markers in the blood? Can we use this information to guide treatment for fatigue?

In addition to these studies, UCSF was selected as one of the research sites for the multi-center, NIH-funded study called GENOMIC RESEARCH IN ALPHA-1 ANTITRYPSIN DEFICIENCY AND SARCOIDOSIS (GRADS). The goals of this study are to:

  • Identify whether sarcoidosis is caused by specific micro-organisms or whether these organisms cause progressive disease or specific types of pulmonary disease/
  • Measure gene expression of blood inflammatory cells and relate these markers to specific manifestations of pulmonary and extrapulmonary sarcoidosis.

This study is anticipated to begin enrollment in the spring of 2013.

If you are interested in learning more or participating, please click HERE If you would like to support the ongoing research, please scroll to the bottom of the following web page to Make a Gift. Make sure to choose the fund designation: “The Sarcoidosis Research Fund”.