This is a new proposal to establish the University of Colorado-Denver Skin Diseases Research Core Center (UCD-SDRC). This center will emphasize understanding the molecular basis of human autoimmune, inflammatory, developmental, metabolic and genetic skin diseases and development of genetically engineered mouse models which mimic these disorders at both the genetic and phenoty pic levels. These mouse models will be utilized for the development of new therapeutic approaches, such as stem cell-based treatments. This Center includes 49 investigators, 15 from within the Department of Dermatology and 34 from other UCD Departments or from other sites collaborating with UCD. The research interests of these investigators are broad: Inflammation and immunity, epithelial biology, melanocyte biology, regenerative medicine and stem cell biology, molecular cellular and developmental biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology and virology, genetics and genomics, tissue repair, cutaneous carcinogensis, and clinical research. This is a rich platform for interdisciplinary discovery in basic and translational research. This proposal has four Specific Aims: 1. To provide Core facilities as a platform for interdisciplinary discovery in basic and translational research, an Administrative Core, Molecular Genetic Analysis Core, Transgenic and Gene Targeting Core, Morphology and Phenotyping Core, and a Flow Cytometry Core: 2 To organize a robust Pilot and Feasibility program to attract new investigators (young, as well as, established) into research in the skin and skin disease. Six new P&F projects are included in this application, as well as a structure for selection of future projects;3 To organize an Enrichment Program for the UCD-SDRC;4 To assemble a Clinical Investigations Team to facilitate development of translational research projects based on the basic research discoveries supported by the cores and P&F studies. The long-term goal of the UCD-SDRC is to provide opportunities for novel approaches and insights into cutaneous biology, pathobiology and clinical dermatology through coordinating and nurturing multidisciplinary research, training, and clinical care among a variety of highly successful basic science and clinical investigators.
This proposal will address research areas highly relevant to NIAMS priorities: biology of skin stem cells, regenerative medicine, developmental biology of the skin and appendages, melanocyte biology, keratinocyte diffferentiation, immune and inflammatory skin diseases, adaptive and innate immunity, identification of the genetic basis of skin disease and developm ent of animal models to study those diseases.
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