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THE FIRST major center for the study of genetic and environmental factors that lead to the development of scleroderma has been established by a $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The 4-year grant from this agency of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md, will support a multidisciplinary and multicenter assault on this littleunderstood but often fatal connective tissue disease, which affects an estimated 500 000 people in the United States.
One of the main goals of the Specialized Center of Research in Scleroderma, headquartered at the University of Texas (UT) Medical School at Houston, is to map the genes responsible for at least the familial forms of the disease.
According to the center's director, Frank C. Arnett, MD, professor and director of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunogenetics at UT-Houston, the center's research team will include more than 20 basic
Skolnick AA. Center for Genetic Research on Scleroderma. JAMA. 1997;278(15):1224. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550150028013