DownSyndrome Achieves Completes Delivery of Biosamples for Study Investigating Prevalence of Eye Disease in People with DS

DownSyndrome Achieves is pleased to announce it has completed the delivery of 100 blood plasma and serum samples for an NIH-funded R21 study on keratoconus dystrophy (KD) and Down syndrome at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

Keratoconus dystrophy is a corneal disease that affects more than 30 percent of the Down syndrome population, compared to less than one percent of the general population. According to co-investigators Drs. Dimitrios Karamichos and Melissa Petersen, if left untreated, KD can cause problems with vision and, in severe cases, require corneal transplants.

“Obtaining clinical samples for research from individuals with Down syndrome has been extremely challenging,” Dr. Karamichos said. “With DSA Biobank, we now have access to the critical samples we need to continue our work.”

“The data obtained from these biosamples will help facilitate the development of improved screenings and diagnostics that better detect individuals with Down syndrome who are at risk for developing this potentially debilitating disease,” said Lito Ramirez, CEO of DownSyndrome Achieves. “DSA Biobank is a powerful resource for researchers to elevate the standard of care for people with Down syndrome, and we’re honored to be a partner on such novel and innovative research.”

Dr. Karamichos added: “We look forward to a long-term collaboration with DSA Biobank, and more studies to come.”


We envision a future when Down syndrome comes without health complications. When people with Down syndrome can maximize their potential and lead healthier, more active, and independent lives. That is why we developed the DSA Biobank. Located at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the DSA Biobank is the first of its kind to catalog, store, and openly share biosamples for study. Our keen focus on fostering collaboration allows us to provide researchers with the critical biosamples needed to develop breakthrough treatments and therapies.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is located in the heart of the Fort Worth Cultural District. HSC trains the health care providers and public health providers of the future, while expanding the frontiers of scientific discovery. In HSC’s five schools, students learn to work in teams and to develop an innovative mindset that prepares them for a rapidly changing health landscape. HSC Health, the clinical enterprise of the Health Science Center, provides patient-centered care to people across Tarrant County.

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