The ability to probe gene expression and chromatin landscape globally and at a single cell level has opened the door to seek unprecedented information and insight into the development, homeostasis, repair, and pathogenesis of skin as a complex organ. UC Irvine enjoys more than a critical mass of skin biologists with well- established research expertise and programs that aim at understanding the regulatory mechanisms underlying the biology of epidermal, dermal, pigment and vascular cells in skin, and how such mechanisms may go awry in diseases such as psoriasis and skin cancer. While these skin biologists all have access to general genomics techniques currently available on campus, there is an urgent need to adapt and develop unique and innovative techniques and services that are tailored to skin biology in order to speed up the process of scientific discoveries. The goal of the Genomics and Bioinformatics Core is to serve as a critical resource component of the Skin Center to place its member investigators at the cutting edge of new genomics and bioinformatics developments. The Core will leverage existing campus resources, such as technological instrumentation as well as genomics and bioinformatics expertise at both faculty and researcher levels, to develop new skin-specific services and provide technical and intellectual support to Center laboratories. The first specific aim of the Core is to provide state-of- the-art genomics technologies for gene expression and epigenome profiling (e.g., Illumina RNA-seq, NanoString nCounter, ATAC-seq, and ChIP-seq) along with dedicated staff time and associated statistical analyses (using both commercial and customized pipelines) to advance skin research. The second specific aim is to promote innovation in single cell analysis to foster understanding of cellular heterogeneities, differentiation hierarchies, and cell-cell interactions in skin, for example by testing and applying new instrumentation and technologies for single cell manipulation, developing new lineage-predicting bioinformatics tools for single cell data, as well as establishing and improving multiplexed in situ RNA detection to create spatial maps of gene expression and cell types or cellular states in the skin tissue. The third specific aim is to maintain a repository of all Center-generated skin sequencing data and create publically accessible databases, such as a new website containing single cell data with temporal and spatial information that is available to the skin research community at large. The last specific aim is to provide organized activities (e.g., seminars, workshops, mini-courses) as well as one-on-one consultation to train and educate Center skin biologists on basic genomics and bioinformatics. Collectively, these aims will make significant and long-lasting impact on skin research at UC Irvine to not only facilitate important scientific discoveries but also cultivate next-generation skin scientists with proficiency in genomics and bioinformatics.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAR1)
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University of California Irvine
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