Increasingly, advances in skin biology depend on cross-disciplinary, collaborative approaches. Through systems biology, multiple disciplines can now be integrated into a cohesive approach to skin biology. The broad, long-term objective of the UC Irvine Skin Biology Resource-based Center is to promote cross- fertilization between multiple disciplines that allows an innovative, integrated approach to regulatory mechanisms in skin biology and disease. This will be achieved through the establishment of resource cores in genomics-bioinformatics, imaging and systems biology. The interactions between investigators and cores, and between cores, will be coordinated through the Administrative Core, which will also be responsible for an enrichment program that promotes goals of the Center.
The Specific Aims are: 1. To foster multidisciplinary, collaborative science between skin researchers and experts in genomics, advanced imaging, and biologically- oriented computation; and to integrate these approaches through systems biology. 2. To develop and adapt new cutting-edge technologies in genomics, imaging and biologically-oriented computation to advance skin biology research and its translation to disease. 3. To train skin researchers in advanced imaging, genomics, bioinformatics and system biology. 4. To recruit and support junior investigators in research in biology and diseases of the skin. 5. To produce and make available resources useful to the skin research community at large. The establishment of the Center will have strong impact on the well-funded, innovative research community, leading to significant discoveries relevant to regulatory mechanisms in skin biology. The Center will also draw investigators from other fields into NIAMS-funded research and promote entry of junior investigators into skin biology research.
The research in this Center focuses on regulatory mechanisms in skin biology, including in epidermal stem cells, epidermal differentiation, melanogenesis and skin vascular biology. The work has strong relevance to skin regeneration and regenerative medicine in general. In addition, the work on epidermal differentiation is relevant to skin diseases with disrupted barrier and to early stages of skin carcinogenesis. The work on melanogenesis is relevant to a variety of pigmentation abnormalities. The work on skin vascular function is relevant to a number of vascular abnormalities. We expect to discover fundamental mechanisms that may become treatment targets in the future.