Researcher Spotlight Beverly Lyn-Cook
Beverly Lyn-Cook, Ph.D.
Senior Interdisciplinary Research Biologist — Division of Biochemical Toxicology
Beverly Lyn-Cook, PhD, is a Senior Interdisciplinary Research Biologist at the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Arkansas. Dr. Lyn-Cook received funding from OMHHE for her projects, An Epigenome-Wide Associated Study (EWAS) of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from African American and European American Women with and Without Lupus, and Validation of Epigenetic Biomarkers in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from African American and European American Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Both projects address epigenomic differences between non-lupus and lupus patients. The first project found a robust methylation profile of type 1 interferon genes in lupus patients that correlated with disease activity scores and ethnicity. The current project will validate specific genes associated with several interferon-related genes, including MX1, IFI44L, PARP9, DT3XL, IFIT1, IFI44, RSAD2, PLSCR1, and IRF7 that showed modulated methylation profiles in African American lupus patients compared to European American lupus patients and in lupus patients with SLEDAI >6 compared to non-lupus subjects.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own tissues, causing widespread inflammation and tissue damage. It can affect the joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. SLE is more common in women than men, and it affects minorities more often than whites. Our initial study found type 1 interferon genes in lupus patients that correlated with disease activity scores and ethnicity. The current study will validate specific genes associated with several interferon-related genes and will further our understanding of the racial disparity in the susceptibility to lupus and provide strategies to target genes that are dysregulated through epigenetic mechanisms.
SLE is an unmet medical need; the etiology is unknown, there is no cure, and African-American women did poorly in clinical trials for recent drug approvals. Both projects were made possible through funding by the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity and the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR).
Additional biographical information on Dr. Lyn-Cook can be found on NCTR Principal Investigators.
Additional information can be found on Featured Research and Principal Investigators.