VIGOR Research is looking for individuals in the U.S. or Canada with vitiligo, and their family members who do not have vitiligo, for a new online five-year NIH-funded research study. The aim of this study is to understand the causes of vitiligo and predict who might be at risk of developing it. Here’s what you need to know.
Who is eligible to participate?
VIGOR Research is seeking 1,000 participants, including those who have vitiligo and their family members–including parents, siblings, children, and cousins–without vitiligo. Individuals who are six years old or older are eligible to participate. This is a fully remote study, and participants can enroll from anywhere in the United States or Canada.
The participants must be willing to donate skin and blood samples using an easy-to-use home device and periodic surveys.
How does the project work?
Participants will engage in a five-year study via an online community. Once participants sign up, they can invite their at-risk family members without vitiligo to participate in the study.
After recruitment, one saliva sample will be collected at the start of the survey. After the initial survey, blood and skin samples will be collected. The study uses Tasso’s remote sampling blood drawing devices, which will be sent out to the participants’ homes so they can take their own samples without inconvenient lab visits. Skin samples will be collected using DermTech’s easy-to-use skin tape. It is a strong but gentle adhesive that is specially designed to lift skin cells from the top layers of the skin.
Each participant will be required to complete the online survey every three months. Moreover, after every six months, a skin and blood sample will be collected using the above-mentioned devices from comfort of home.
How will the research be used?
The purpose of this study is to understand why people get vitiligo. It provides insights into the root causes of vitiligo to predict who might be at risk of developing it in the future. The outcomes of this study will be helpful in learning how to prevent vitiligo and generate ideas for developing a cure by correcting the root causes.
All information provided will remain confidential, and all participants will remain anonymous during the entirety of the project.
How can I participate?
If you are interested in participating, fill out the VIGOR Study Interest Form.
After you provide the preliminary information, the team will reach out to you for additional details about you and your family members. You can submit additional questions by email to email@example.com.
Learn more about VIGOR Research at https://vigor.umassmed.edu/vigor/s/.
Erika Page is the Founder and Editor of Living Dappled. After getting vitiligo at the age of seven, she lost 100% of her pigment to the condition and today lives with universal vitiligo.