The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences Partners with the Scleroderma Research Foundation to "CONQUER" Scleroderma
The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences is one of 12 top medical research centers to collaborate with the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF) to launch CONQUER: the first-ever national, longitudinal patient registry for those suffering from scleroderma.
Scleroderma is an often lethal chronic autoimmune disease. For some patients, the disease affects vital organ such as the kidneys, lungs, and heart. It can also lead to disfiguring facial changes, weight loss, and loss of hand function. Approximately 80,000 Americans are affected, with many more worldwide. The cause is unknown and there is currently no cure.
CONQUER will collect a detailed clinical dataset and blood from thousands of early-stage patients, each followed over several years. This rich database and biorepository will help advance current research and improve patient care. Victoria Shanmugam, MD, director of the Division of Rheumatology and associate professor of medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, will lead this initiative at GW, which will act as a registry site.
“We are pleased to be joining the SRF, as well as other leading scleroderma centers across the country, to create this much needed registry,” said Shanmugam. “Collecting this type of data will bring us so much closer to understanding this disease, and ultimately to finding a cure.”
In addition to GW, the CONQUER consortium consists of: Columbia University, Georgetown University, Hospital for Special Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Mass General Hospital, Medical University of South Carolina, Northwestern University, Stanford University, University of Michigan, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and University of Utah.
"We are thrilled by the significant support and innovation this collaboration will bring to our efforts to eradicate scleroderma," said Luke Evnin, PhD, chairman of the SRF Board of Directors. Evnin is a scleroderma patient and a biotech venture capitalist and has been integral in making CONQUER a reality.