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Research study on scleroderma & morphea

We are conducting a study to identify the genetic basis of scleroderma and morphea. The success of this study depends on the participation and generosity of people who are affected by these conditions. If you are interested- or know someone who might be- please read more about the study below. 

Who can participate?

We are recruiting people affected by scleroderma (morphea) in patterns that specifically appear as lines or streaks on the scalp, face, arm, or leg (like the pictures shown below). These forms of the condition are often called linear scleroderma or linear morphea.

What will happen in the study?

• We will talk to you on the phone to learn more information about you and your skin condition. 

• You will make one visit to our medical clinic in San Diego. We estimate the visit will take one hour.

• We will collect two small skin samples: One sample will be from a part of your skin that is affected by scleroderma/morphea, and the second sample will be from part of your skin that is unaffected. For comfort, samples are collected after using numbing medication, and each sample is about the size of a pencil eraser    

• The skin samples will be processed in a laboratory to isolate skin cells. The DNA from the cells will undergo sequencing and we will use several different assays to compare the affected skin against the unaffected skin to look for genetic, molecular, or chemical changes.

• Although we will ask for general information about you (such as your age, gender, how long you have had the skin condition, etc.) we will not link your samples to personal information such as your name, birthdate, address, or medical record.

• If we discover a new finding, we may publish these findings to share them with the scientific community. The data from the experiments and sequencing may also be shared in a research database that will allow other scientists to benefit from our study to do future research.

Will I get compensated for participating?

Unfortunately we do not currently have compensation available. We recognize the burden on our study participants and the generosity it takes to provide skin samples.

We do not understand what causes scleroderma or morphea, but we know that genetics plays a role. Figuring out the genetic basis of these conditions will be an important foundation for better diagnosis and treatment options.

Ready to join this study? Click in the boxes below to enter your contact information!
What benefits will result from this study?

Thanks for your interest! We will contact you soon.

Questions? Comments?

Email us at

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