The Skin Diseases Research Center (SDRC), based at Case Western Reserve University (Case) and University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC), brings added value to all the Northern Ohio academic medical centers by uniting basic and translational skin science. This successfully resulted in 3 federally funded Phase I SDRC-investigator initiated clinical trials. There is tremendous energy, growth, momentum, and interdisciplinary foment among the research base, comprised of 67 investigators from 24 Departments, 5 schools, and 7 institutions, with over $16M in skin disease-related research. A major goal of the SDRC is to fuel the projects of new and experienced investigators with a rich matrix of resources in order to speed the progress and enhance the quality of skin diseases research. An Administrative Core manages a Pilot &Feasibility Program (P&F), in which 9/13 of the awardees published and obtained NIH K, R, or P series awards. New institutional matching programs greatly increase the value of SDRC P&F awards. The Administrative Core also organizes Research-in Progress Luncheons, lectures and symposia to promote interaction and education, and focuses the trajectory of our basic skin research toward translation into changes in the practice of medicine. The Case SDRC coordinates user-friendly access to state-of-the-art Core services, provides expertise in skin research techniques, mentors the career development of junior members with a skin-centered emphasis in their research, assists in clinical research regulatory compliance, and promotes interfaces with advanced institutional research resources, especially Cores of the Case Clinical &Translational Sciences Center, which span proteomics, sequencing and statistics. There are 4 Scientific Cores : A) Morphology, B) Cell Culture and Molecular Technology, C) Translational Research, and D) Animal Experimentation and Wound Healing. Routine, quality controlled, high volume services complement new advanced technologies such as Spinning Disc Confocal Microscopy and a robotic 384 well format pipettor station for high throughput studies. A new dedicated server with >6 Terabytes of storage enables Electronic Lab Notebook utilization and intensive imaging and systems biology data applications.
The SDRC gains tremendous numerical and scientific leverage at CWRU, with over $2M in University funds and $1M in UHCMC funds to be invested in the dermatology research environment and new dermatology faculty. The priming of research pathways greatly enhances the value and efficiency of each skin disease-related research grant. The focus on translation ensures maximized benefit to patients.
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