May 19, 2014

Dr. David Chae, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the School of Public Health, has been awarded a $2,687,350 R01 grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Chae is the principal investigator for the project focused on "Psychosocial Factors and Lupus Disease Progression Among African American Women," the first study to explore the impact of racial discrimination on systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE) progression among African American women.

African American women are disproportionately affected by SLE and also face worse consequences of disease activity. The proposed study aims to help improve understanding of how SLE may be exacerbated by psychosocial stressors in the lives of African American women. Dr. Chae hopes the research will help to unravel factors contributing to racial disparities in this understudied disease and will also help to identify potential targets of intervention.

Dr. Chae's previous research has included a study of racism on biological aging in African American men. The study found that African American men who experienced greater racial discrimination and who displayed a stronger bias against their own racial group had shorter telomeres, a biomarker of systemic aging associated with increased risk of premature death and chronic disease.