My laboratory is engaged in an effort to produce an expression clone for a plant immunohomolog of the Sm autoantigen protein B/B’ associated with systemic lupus erythematosus. This clone will be used in future investigations to produce protein for dietary studies in MRL/l mice through which the possible connection between oral tolerance mechanisms abnormalities and lupus disease severity can be examined.
Projects 2 & 3:
We are also working in collaboration with faculty from the University of South Carolina on two genomics projects.One project is an effort to produce an intermediate density genome map for Peromyscus. The other is an effort to sequence the small RNAs from both rice and maize. In particular the lupus project will offer an ideal opportunity for interaction with MUSC researchers. Claflin University does not at present have animal research facilities so collaborations established through this program could allow for the gathering of preliminary data for use in a full-scale collaborative grant application to the NIH.