The goal of this competitive renewal for the University of Alabama (UAB) Skin Diseases Research Center is to continue the interdisciplinary center of excellence in investigative dermatology that was initiated in 2004. UAB has a distinguished record in promoting interactive, cooperative Centers that transcend departmental boundaries, allowing researchers to focus interests on common goals. The four thematic emphases of the Center are: 1) immunodermatology and cutaneous microbiology, 2) skin cancer, 3) biochemistry of the skin, and 4) genetics and developmental biology, but the effectiveness of the Center has been enhanced by the inclusion of investigators from other skin-related disciplines that have unique expertise to contribute. The Center is based in the Department of Dermatology which has made great strides over the last four years in developing programs of excellence in dermatological research. The research base of the UAB-SDRC is now comprised of 39 investigators from 14 different Departments within the University. Each has expertise in skin disease research or has unique skills that they will contribute through Core facility services to enhance the quality of skin-related research within the Center. Three Core facilities function to serve the needs of SDRC investigators: 1) Skin Cell Culture;2) Tissue Resources and Molecular Pathology;and 3) Skin Proteomics. They provide SDRC members with the most current services, equipment, training and consultation and do so in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The SDRC also supports a highly successful Pilot and Feasibility program, with 11 studies funded to date. For this application, three Pilot and Feasibility Studies were selected from nine that originally applied. The selected studies accurately reflect the diversity of interests within the University. A vibrant Enrichment and Communications Program, that includes a seminar series with lecturers from inside and outside of the University, supports the scientific studies and maximizes cooperative interaction at all levels. The activities of the Center are coordinated by the Administrative Core, which is also responsible for continuing scientific development and strategic planning of the Center, and enhancing communication among UAB-SDRC investigators.
The UAB Skin Diseases Research Center provides the intellectual and technical framework that brings scientists with diverse interests together and allows them to apply innovative, rigorous approaches to scientific issues of importance to the skin. The ultimate goal of the SDRC is to generate new knowledge that has a sustained impact on dermatology aimed at improving the quality of life of patients with skin diseases.
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