Clinical Studies

Clinical Studies

Overview

Clinical research volunteers are crucial partners in the quest for knowledge that will improve the health of future generations. As a non-profit research organization we rely on our entire community to help us gain a better understanding of the immune system by contributing to groundbreaking research.

How can you help?

We have a number of ongoing clinical research programs for which we are recruiting volunteers. Qualified participants will be asked to provide a routine blood donation(s) that is performed by a certified and licensed phlebotomist here at the La Jolla Institute. All volunteers are compensated for their time and effort.

What can you expect?

After you have signed up, our clinical coordinator will call you and ask you a number of questions to determine whether you are eligible to participate in one of our research studies. We may also request proof of vaccination and/or information about your medical history.

If you are healthy and eligible for one of our studies, you may be scheduled for an initial, physical screening appointment at LJI. The study coordinator and/or phlebotomist may also perform a visual check of your arms to determine if your veins are suitable for a blood donation.

Research participants who undergo the blood donation procedure may experience temporary discomfort from the blood draw. The needle stick may cause local pain, bruising and swelling, as well as lightheadedness, dizziness and in rare cases, fainting and/or a local infection.

There are no costs associated with your participation and in fact, eligible participants will receive compensation for their participation and time.

Active Studies

Alopecia

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in a scientific investigation into a common autoimmune disease that affects or will affect 147 million people worldwide
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation per blood donation, for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Adults 18 years of age and over
  • In generally good health
  • Diagnosed by a physician with Alopecia 

Alopecia Areata is a common autoimmune disease caused when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks their hair follicles, resulting in hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere. For most people, alopecia involves the loss of hair in small round patches throughout the body. It occurs in both males and females of all ages, but most often begins during childhood.1 The hair follicles in alopecia remain alive and hair growth may occur without treatment and even after many years. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future alopecia therapeutic design.

The purpose of this study is to identify and thoroughly characterize autoimmune epitopes present in alopecia. Understanding the pathophysiology of alopecia is essential for the development of future treatments and/or diagnostic reagents. Thus, the information learned from this study may help lead to better therapies for immune related hair loss in the future.

  1. National Alopecia Areata Foundation. FAQ’s. (Retrieved December 16 2015)

Cockroach Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • History of allergies caused by cockroaches

Asthma and allergy are the most common diseases associated with cockroaches in the US and around the world. It has been convincingly demonstrated over the past 2 decades that the combination of cockroach allergy and cockroach exposure is one of the most important factors contributing to the dramatically increased asthma deaths seen in inner city residents with asthma1. The allergens from cockroaches are believed to be derived from the feces, saliva and bodies of the insect. Cockroaches live all around the world and can be found in private and urban homes. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

Given available data, a major objective of our government-sponsored (NIAID) project, which is taking place with the Inner City Asthma Consortium (ICAC), has been to better understand cockroach allergy with the long term goal of developing specific interventions for cockroach related asthma and allergy. The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood react with allergens from cockroaches. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.

1. Arruda LK, Vailes LD, Ferriani VP, et al.

Cockroach allergens and asthma

J Allergy Clin Immunol. March 2001. (Retrieved July 15 2015)

Dengue Fever

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • History of dengue fever infection

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne virus that causes fever, and in some cases, a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years. Up to 50-100 million infections are now estimated to occur annually in over 100 endemic countries, putting almost half of the world’s population at risk. Currently, there is no vaccination available to prevent dengue fever. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future vaccine design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to compare immune responses to dengue, including acute responses, immunity from previous infection, and immunity conferred by vaccination (vaccine trials are in progress at other sites). Participants who have a previous history of exposure to infectious pathogens serve as comparative controls against vaccinated and immune individuals to other viruses. Understanding how the immune system responds to dengue fever allows scientists to ultimately make more effective vaccines and reduce the incidence of infection.

Egg Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

 Eligibility Criteria:

  • Adults 18 years of age and over
  • In generally good health
  • History of allergies caused by eggs

Eggs are one of the most common food allergens, second only to milk. Symptoms can range from mild, such as a rash, to severe anaphylaxis, which impairs breathing and sends the body into shock. Egg can be a hidden ingredient in many foods, making it difficult for allergy sufferers to consume ordinary foods. Additionally, some vaccines contain small amounts of egg protein, such as the influenza vaccine, which may cause allergic reactions. About 70 percent of those allergic will outgrow the condition by 16, but some adults may never outgrow their allergy. 1 The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood react with the proteins from egg whites and yolk. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Egg Allergy

.

Grass and Pollen Allergies

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • History of allergies caused by grass and pollen

Also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, pollen allergies affect approximately 50 million people in the United States, as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children.1 These symptoms are an immune response from inhaling pollens released into the air during different seasons. Allergies can be managed through avoidance, decreasing exposure to pollen, medications and immunotherapy. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood as well as cells from your nose react with allergens from grasses, flowers, trees, weeds and pollen. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.

1. American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Allergy Facts. (Retrieved July 15 2015)

House Dust Mite Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • History of dust mite allergies

Dust mites are arthropods too small to see with the naked eye, measuring about one-quarter to one-third of a millimeter. Mites can produce up to 200 times their body weight in waste, leaving these waste products behind to cause allergic reactions in humans. According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, dust mites may be the most common cause of year-round allergy and asthma, with about 20 million Americans affected. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood as well as cells from your nose react with allergens from dust mites. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.

HIV

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in a scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation per blood donation, for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Adults 18 years of age and over
  • In generally good health
  • Ancestry from sub-Saharan African countries

HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, a body’s natural defense against diseases and infections. Once you have HIV, you have it for life and it can severely damage your immune system if left untreated. Proper treatment and medical care can keep HIV controlled but currently, no effective cure for HIV exist.

Because future HIV vaccine trials would take place in sub-Saharan African countries where the prevalence of HIV is much higher, it is important to analyze the B cells of people with similar genetic make-up. By donating your blood, our researchers are then able to analyze your B cells, to better understand how the immune system may respond to a potential HIV vaccine. This allows scientists to ultimately make more safe and effective vaccines, reducing the incidence of infection in the future. 

  1. AIDS.gov. What is HIV/AIDS?

Japanese Cedar Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in a scientific investigation into a seasonal pollen allergy that affects an estimated 42 million people
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Lived in Japan for a minimum of 6 months

Sugi, or Japanese cedar, is native to Japan and is considered the nation’s national tree. After World War II, the Japanese government encouraged the planting of Japanese cedar trees, which were an important resource. However, as the trees matured, large amounts of pollen were produced. Seasonal allergic rhinitis caused by these pollens has become the most common illness in Japan and is considered a national affliction. More than one-third of all Japanese persons are afflicted, and these numbers have increased in the last decade along with pollen counts.1 The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how allergy cells that circulate in the blood react with allergens from Japanese cedar, or Sugi, trees. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. It is important to find donors who have lived in Japan and therefore have been exposed to the cedar trees. Scientists are then able to analyze not only how individuals with cedar tree allergies react to the cedar pollen, but also how and why other individuals do not have any reaction or display symptoms when being exposed to the same cedar pollen. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.

1. Yamada T., Saito H., Fujieda S. Present state of Japanese Cedar Pollinosis: the national affliction. J Allergy Clin Immunol. March 2014. (Retrieved July 15 2015)

Milk Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist 

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Adults 18 years of age and over
  • In generally good health
  • History of allergies caused by milk

An allergy to cow’s milk is the most common food allergy in infants and young children. Recent studies have shown fewer than 20 percent of children outgrow the allergy by four while 80 percent outgrow it by 16, with some allergies lasting into adulthood.1 Symptoms can range from mild such as hives to severe anaphylaxis. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood react with the proteins from milk. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.  

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Milk & Dairy Allergy

 

Mouse Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a 1-2 standard blood donations drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation per blood donation for your time and effort

 Eligibility Criteria:

  • Adults 18 years of age and over
  • In generally good health
  • History of exposure or planned exposure to mice through work environments 

Mouse allergies are a common health problem among people who are frequently exposed to rodents whether at home or work. Studies show that between 11-44% of all laboratory animal workers report work-related allergic symptoms. Symptoms most often exhibited include rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and contact urticarial. However, up to 10% of workers may develop severe asthma from continuous mouse allergen exposure. 1 The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

 The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood react with allergens from mice. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.  

Gordon, S., and Preece, R. (2003). Prevention of laboratory animal allergy. Occupational Medicine, 53, 371-377. 

Parkinson's Disease

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 50 - 70 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Diagnosed by a physician with Parkinson’s Disease - OR- Relatives, caregivers, or other persons interested in helping advance Parkinson’s research

Parkinson’s disease is included in a group of neurological conditions referred to as motor system disorders. It is estimated that nearly one million people nationally are living with Parkinson’s disease, with more than 100,000 people diagnosed in southern California.1
Unfortunately, the cause of Parkinson’s disease is not entirely clear yet and many treatments only offer symptomatic relief. 2 The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight into Parkinson’s disease research.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood react with proteins associated with PD, to see if there is a link between the immune system and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, the study of DNA may show how genes influence the development of Parkinson’s Disease. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better treatments and/or diagnostics for Parkinson’s disease.

1. Parkinson’s Association. Parkinson’s- At A Glance. (Retrieved 15 July 2015)
2. The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Parkinson’s Disease Causes. (Retrieved 15 July 2015)

Peanut Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18 years and older
  • In generally good health
  • History of peanut allergies

Peanut allergy affects approximately 2% of the population and is one of the most common causes of death due to food allergies.1 Those who are sensitive to peanuts may be affected by peanut proteins in the air, not just peanut consumption. In recent years, peanut allergy cases reported in children have risen.2 Those who are allergic are advised to carry epinephrine in case of severe allergic reaction. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how allergy cells that circulate in the blood react with allergens from certain foods that we eat, such as peanuts or peanut butter. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers.

1. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Peanut Allergy. (Retrieved July 15 2015)
2. College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Peanut Allergy. (Retrieved July 15 2015)

Seasonal Allergies

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • History of seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies are those allergies caused by certain pollen and grasses that may be more prominent during certain seasons of the year. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood react with allergens from grasses, trees, weeds, or seasonal changes. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.

Systemic Sclerosis

How You Can Help:

  • Provide two to four small skin samples

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-80 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Diagnosed with systemic sclerosis, diffuse type with areas of scarred skin -OR- Relatives, caregivers, or other persons in generally good health, interested in helping advance systemic sclerosis research

The purpose of this study is to identify molecules whose expression are different in patients with systemic sclerosis compared to healthy subjects, from skin biopsy samples. It is the hope that these molecules could be targeted for potential therapeutics for systemic sclerosis.

1. Scleroderma Foundation. What is scleroderma? (Retrieved 5 August 2015)

Tuberculosis

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Medical record of BCG vaccination, OR medical diagnosis of latent, treated, or resolved tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is the worldwide leading cause of death from infectious diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately one-third of the world’s population (2 billion total) is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB); MTB is responsible for 2 to 3 million deaths annually and 9 million new infections are reported each year. The majority of infected individuals control the pathogen by mounting a successful, long-lived and protective immune response, leading to either resolution or a clinically latent infection. Approximately 10% of latently infected individuals develop active TB.

The purpose of this study is to identify, characterize, and validate the specific components derived from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) that induce immune responses. Most patients exposed to MTB are able to control the development of active disease by innate and acquired immune responses. The adaptive immune responses are mediated by antigen-specific T cells recognizing MTB. Since latently infected individuals are able to control infection, they provide a relevant population to study protective responses. The information derived from this study could be used to design improved vaccines against tuberculosis and novel immunodiagnostic tests.

Whooping Cough - long term study

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Medical record of previous whooping cough infection

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease of the respiratory tract. Most often, it occurs in infants and young children, but it is easily transmitted from person to person through droplets. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pertussis remains a significant cause of infant death worldwide and continues to be a public health concern even in countries with high vaccination coverage. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future vaccine design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to compare immune responses to pertussis, including those from previous infection, and immunity conferred by various vaccines. Participants who have a previous history of exposure to infectious pathogens serve as comparative controls against vaccinated and immune individuals. Understanding how the immune system responds to pertussis allows scientists to ultimately make more effective vaccines and reduce the incidence of infection.

Whooping cough - short term study

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $50-100 compensation per donation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-35 years of age
  • In generally good health

La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology (LJI) is conducting a research study related to vaccinations and the immune response. The Institute is seeking volunteer blood donors who are in generally good health, and have not received the tetanus-diptheria-pertussis (TDaP) vaccine within the last 4 years. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future vaccine design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to compare immune responses of individuals who have previously received the TDaP vaccine prior to 1995 and after 1996 since the vaccines during these different time periods were manufactured differently.

Yellow Fever

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 - $200 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Medical record of yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccination OR planning to receive the YFV vaccination

Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne virus indigenous to areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and Central/South America. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Yellow fever can cause epidemics that affect up to 20% of the population at a given time. When epidemics occur in unvaccinated populations, case-fatality rates may exceed 50%. Fortunately, a vaccination is available that is sufficient for sustained, life-long protection against the disease. This vaccination is commonly recommended to individuals traveling to areas where yellow fever is endemic. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future vaccine design and/or diagnostic reagents.

It is important to study the immune system of persons vaccinated with highly effective vaccines, such as yellow fever, to understand how the vaccine provides lifelong protection. More specifically, we are determining which components of the pathogen are recognized by T and B lymphocytes circulating in the blood and which specific types of these cells are responsible for vaccine-induced immune memory. Understanding how effective vaccines work allows scientists to ultimately make other vaccines better and reduce the incidence of infection.

All studies are for research purposes only and not intended to treat any medical conditions. At the moment, we are not recruiting for the following studies. Please check back at a later time.

  • Cockroach Allergy
  • Grass and Pollen
  • House Dust Mite
  • Japanese Cedar Allergy
  • Seasonal Allergies

Enrolling

Dengue Fever

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • History of dengue fever infection

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne virus that causes fever, and in some cases, a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years. Up to 50-100 million infections are now estimated to occur annually in over 100 endemic countries, putting almost half of the world’s population at risk. Currently, there is no vaccination available to prevent dengue fever. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future vaccine design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to compare immune responses to dengue, including acute responses, immunity from previous infection, and immunity conferred by vaccination (vaccine trials are in progress at other sites). Participants who have a previous history of exposure to infectious pathogens serve as comparative controls against vaccinated and immune individuals to other viruses. Understanding how the immune system responds to dengue fever allows scientists to ultimately make more effective vaccines and reduce the incidence of infection.

Egg Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

 Eligibility Criteria:

  • Adults 18 years of age and over
  • In generally good health
  • History of allergies caused by eggs

Eggs are one of the most common food allergens, second only to milk. Symptoms can range from mild, such as a rash, to severe anaphylaxis, which impairs breathing and sends the body into shock. Egg can be a hidden ingredient in many foods, making it difficult for allergy sufferers to consume ordinary foods. Additionally, some vaccines contain small amounts of egg protein, such as the influenza vaccine, which may cause allergic reactions. About 70 percent of those allergic will outgrow the condition by 16, but some adults may never outgrow their allergy. 1 The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood react with the proteins from egg whites and yolk. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Egg Allergy

.

HIV

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in a scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation per blood donation, for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Adults 18 years of age and over
  • In generally good health
  • Ancestry from sub-Saharan African countries

HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, a body’s natural defense against diseases and infections. Once you have HIV, you have it for life and it can severely damage your immune system if left untreated. Proper treatment and medical care can keep HIV controlled but currently, no effective cure for HIV exist.

Because future HIV vaccine trials would take place in sub-Saharan African countries where the prevalence of HIV is much higher, it is important to analyze the B cells of people with similar genetic make-up. By donating your blood, our researchers are then able to analyze your B cells, to better understand how the immune system may respond to a potential HIV vaccine. This allows scientists to ultimately make more safe and effective vaccines, reducing the incidence of infection in the future. 

  1. AIDS.gov. What is HIV/AIDS?

Japanese Cedar Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in a scientific investigation into a seasonal pollen allergy that affects an estimated 42 million people
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Lived in Japan for a minimum of 6 months

Sugi, or Japanese cedar, is native to Japan and is considered the nation’s national tree. After World War II, the Japanese government encouraged the planting of Japanese cedar trees, which were an important resource. However, as the trees matured, large amounts of pollen were produced. Seasonal allergic rhinitis caused by these pollens has become the most common illness in Japan and is considered a national affliction. More than one-third of all Japanese persons are afflicted, and these numbers have increased in the last decade along with pollen counts.1 The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how allergy cells that circulate in the blood react with allergens from Japanese cedar, or Sugi, trees. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. It is important to find donors who have lived in Japan and therefore have been exposed to the cedar trees. Scientists are then able to analyze not only how individuals with cedar tree allergies react to the cedar pollen, but also how and why other individuals do not have any reaction or display symptoms when being exposed to the same cedar pollen. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.

1. Yamada T., Saito H., Fujieda S. Present state of Japanese Cedar Pollinosis: the national affliction. J Allergy Clin Immunol. March 2014. (Retrieved July 15 2015)

Milk Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist 

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Adults 18 years of age and over
  • In generally good health
  • History of allergies caused by milk

An allergy to cow’s milk is the most common food allergy in infants and young children. Recent studies have shown fewer than 20 percent of children outgrow the allergy by four while 80 percent outgrow it by 16, with some allergies lasting into adulthood.1 Symptoms can range from mild such as hives to severe anaphylaxis. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood react with the proteins from milk. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.  

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Milk & Dairy Allergy

 

Mouse Allergy

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a 1-2 standard blood donations drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation per blood donation for your time and effort

 Eligibility Criteria:

  • Adults 18 years of age and over
  • In generally good health
  • History of exposure or planned exposure to mice through work environments 

Mouse allergies are a common health problem among people who are frequently exposed to rodents whether at home or work. Studies show that between 11-44% of all laboratory animal workers report work-related allergic symptoms. Symptoms most often exhibited include rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and contact urticarial. However, up to 10% of workers may develop severe asthma from continuous mouse allergen exposure. 1 The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future allergy therapeutic design and/or diagnostic reagents.

 The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood react with allergens from mice. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better therapies for allergy sufferers. The goal is to ultimately improve specific immunotherapy treatments.  

Gordon, S., and Preece, R. (2003). Prevention of laboratory animal allergy. Occupational Medicine, 53, 371-377. 

Parkinson's Disease

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 50 - 70 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Diagnosed by a physician with Parkinson’s Disease - OR- Relatives, caregivers, or other persons interested in helping advance Parkinson’s research

Parkinson’s disease is included in a group of neurological conditions referred to as motor system disorders. It is estimated that nearly one million people nationally are living with Parkinson’s disease, with more than 100,000 people diagnosed in southern California.1
Unfortunately, the cause of Parkinson’s disease is not entirely clear yet and many treatments only offer symptomatic relief. 2 The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight into Parkinson’s disease research.

The purpose of this study is to find out more about how immune cells that circulate in the blood react with proteins associated with PD, to see if there is a link between the immune system and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, the study of DNA may show how genes influence the development of Parkinson’s Disease. Understanding these basic mechanisms of interaction may help lead to better treatments and/or diagnostics for Parkinson’s disease.

1. Parkinson’s Association. Parkinson’s- At A Glance. (Retrieved 15 July 2015)
2. The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Parkinson’s Disease Causes. (Retrieved 15 July 2015)

Systemic Sclerosis

How You Can Help:

  • Provide two to four small skin samples

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-80 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Diagnosed with systemic sclerosis, diffuse type with areas of scarred skin -OR- Relatives, caregivers, or other persons in generally good health, interested in helping advance systemic sclerosis research

The purpose of this study is to identify molecules whose expression are different in patients with systemic sclerosis compared to healthy subjects, from skin biopsy samples. It is the hope that these molecules could be targeted for potential therapeutics for systemic sclerosis.

1. Scleroderma Foundation. What is scleroderma? (Retrieved 5 August 2015)

Tuberculosis

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Medical record of BCG vaccination, OR medical diagnosis of latent, treated, or resolved tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is the worldwide leading cause of death from infectious diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately one-third of the world’s population (2 billion total) is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB); MTB is responsible for 2 to 3 million deaths annually and 9 million new infections are reported each year. The majority of infected individuals control the pathogen by mounting a successful, long-lived and protective immune response, leading to either resolution or a clinically latent infection. Approximately 10% of latently infected individuals develop active TB.

The purpose of this study is to identify, characterize, and validate the specific components derived from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) that induce immune responses. Most patients exposed to MTB are able to control the development of active disease by innate and acquired immune responses. The adaptive immune responses are mediated by antigen-specific T cells recognizing MTB. Since latently infected individuals are able to control infection, they provide a relevant population to study protective responses. The information derived from this study could be used to design improved vaccines against tuberculosis and novel immunodiagnostic tests.

Whooping Cough - long term study

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Medical record of previous whooping cough infection

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease of the respiratory tract. Most often, it occurs in infants and young children, but it is easily transmitted from person to person through droplets. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pertussis remains a significant cause of infant death worldwide and continues to be a public health concern even in countries with high vaccination coverage. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future vaccine design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to compare immune responses to pertussis, including those from previous infection, and immunity conferred by various vaccines. Participants who have a previous history of exposure to infectious pathogens serve as comparative controls against vaccinated and immune individuals. Understanding how the immune system responds to pertussis allows scientists to ultimately make more effective vaccines and reduce the incidence of infection.

Whooping cough - short term study

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $50-100 compensation per donation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-35 years of age
  • In generally good health

La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology (LJI) is conducting a research study related to vaccinations and the immune response. The Institute is seeking volunteer blood donors who are in generally good health, and have not received the tetanus-diptheria-pertussis (TDaP) vaccine within the last 4 years. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future vaccine design and/or diagnostic reagents.

The purpose of this study is to compare immune responses of individuals who have previously received the TDaP vaccine prior to 1995 and after 1996 since the vaccines during these different time periods were manufactured differently.

Yellow Fever

How You Can Help:

  • Provide a standard blood donation drawn by a certified phlebotomist

Benefits of Participating:

  • Assisting in scientific research
  • Advancing human health
  • $100 - $200 compensation for your time and effort

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Men and women of all ethnicities
  • 18-65 years of age
  • In generally good health
  • Medical record of yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccination OR planning to receive the YFV vaccination

Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne virus indigenous to areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and Central/South America. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Yellow fever can cause epidemics that affect up to 20% of the population at a given time. When epidemics occur in unvaccinated populations, case-fatality rates may exceed 50%. Fortunately, a vaccination is available that is sufficient for sustained, life-long protection against the disease. This vaccination is commonly recommended to individuals traveling to areas where yellow fever is endemic. The information learned from this study may provide valuable insight for future vaccine design and/or diagnostic reagents.

It is important to study the immune system of persons vaccinated with highly effective vaccines, such as yellow fever, to understand how the vaccine provides lifelong protection. More specifically, we are determining which components of the pathogen are recognized by T and B lymphocytes circulating in the blood and which specific types of these cells are responsible for vaccine-induced immune memory. Understanding how effective vaccines work allows scientists to ultimately make other vaccines better and reduce the incidence of infection.

All studies are for research purposes only and not intended to treat any medical conditions. At the moment, we are not recruiting for the following studies. Please check back at a later time.

  • Cockroach Allergy
  • Grass and Pollen
  • House Dust Mite
  • Japanese Cedar Allergy
  • Seasonal Allergies