Single B Cell Profiling in Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
X. Long Zheng, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A.
Research Aims of this Study:
"Despite the progresses being made concerning diagnosis and management of TTP in past two decades, little is known about the immunological aspects of TTP, which is primarily caused by autoantibodies that target ADAMTS13, an enzyme in the blood that is critical for keeping our blood flow. The proposed study aims to determine how antibodies are produced and how they evolve following treatment with immunosuppressives such as corticosteroids and rituximab."
How Dr. Zheng became interested in TTP research:
"I started my TTP research when I was a first-year resident in pathology and laboratory medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University in St. Louis. I saw a 42-year-old African American woman with a relapsing TTP requiring hospitalization and daily plasma exchange for many months. At time, the etiology and pathogenic mechanism of TTP were little known."
How Dr. Zheng believes this research will impact individuals living with or impacted by TTP:
"The results of the proposed study may provide us new knowledge about our immune system in patients with TTP. This may lead to more targeted immune therapy rather than carpet-bombing immunosuppression. The study will also help create many novel antibody reagents for designing rapid diagnosis tests of TTP. "
Comments from Dr. Zheng to donors:
"We are forever grateful for your support to this cause. Your generosity has made it possible for us (researchers) to continue searching for new ways for diagnosis and treatment of TTP, as well as for long-term monitoring of our patients who survive acute episode of TTP. "