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Saira Sheikh, MD, director of the UNC Rheumatology Lupus Clinic, and director of the clinical trials program at the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, will participate in a new research study with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Minority Health.

Saira Sheikh, MD

Saira Sheikh, MD, along with Allen Anandarajah, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, recently partnered with the ACR to develop a grant proposal focused on increasing minority participation in lupus clinical trials.

The newly funded grant from the DHHS Office of Minority Health will enable Sheikh and Anandarajah to work with the ACR and collaborators to develop and expand a multistage intervention model that can increase minority patient referral to lupus clinical trials. They will lead two-year longitudinal studies that target medically underserved areas in Durham, NC, and Rochester, NY.

Serving as expert advisors for this project will be Richard M. Wardrop III, MD, PhD, who is associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at UNC, and is also Governor-elect for the NC Chapter American College of Physicians. Also serving in the role of expert advisor is Donna Culton, MD, PhD, who is assistant professor of medicine at UNC and president of the North Carolina Dermatology Association.