Research Focus Areas

Research Focus Areas

Epidermal biology group: The broad theme for the research of this group of investigators is to understand how skin
homeostasis is maintained, and how the skin, including the epidermis, responds to injury and insults. Developing from
the surface ectoderm during embryogenesis, the primitive epidermis has different fates, including the interfollicular
epidermis and appendages such as hair follicles; we seek to understand how the different fates are specified.

Pigment and Merkel cell biology group: Melanocytes in the epidermis respond to UV damage by activating DNA damage repair and ROS detoxification, and by inducing cell division (nevus generation) and the production of more melanin; this and how melanocytes develop from the neural crest are this group’s research themes. Epidermal Merkel cells connect to sensory nerves and mediate touch sensation. They are also thought to be the source of Merkel cell carcinoma.

Skin vascular biology group: The main theme of this group is to understand the pathogenesis of vascular abnormalities in skin and the development of effective treatments for these conditions, as well as understanding the vascular response in wounding and other types of injury.

P30 Resource Cores

1) Administrative Core: Director Bogi Andersen & Associate Director Arthur Lander

  • The Administrative Core provides centralized administrative, clerical, logistical and organizational services and resources to meet the needs of the Center and associated research personnel. The Administrative Core personnel facilitate interactions with members of local and national biomedical research communities in areas within the mission of NIAMS.

2) Genomics-Bioinformatic Core: Director Suzanne Sandmeyer and Associate Director Xing Dai

  • The core combines the unique strengths of UC Irvine’s Genomics High-Throughput Facility with the Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics (IGB), a leader in interdisciplinary research. The mission of GHTF is to bring emerging nucleic acid technologies to UC Irvine and provide genome-wide analysis for clients interested in gene expression, regulation of gene expression, and genome sequence and variation. The GHTF was established in 1999 as a shared resource, affiliated with the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, with the goal of assisting UCI Campus and Medical Center investigators. Over the past several years, the IGB has also attracted significant funding from the NIH and the NSF to catalyse innovative research in genomics and bioinformatics, and emerged as a national leader.

3) Imaging Core: Director Enrico  & Associate Director Anand Ganesan

  • The Imaging Core builds on UC Irvine’s leadership in imaging as reflected in the establishment of two P41 NIH-funded Biotechnology Imaging Resource Centers, the Laser Microbeam and Medical Program (LAMMP) housed at the Beckman Laser Institute (BLI) established in 1979, and the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics (LFD), established at UC Irvine in 2006.

4) Systems Bio Core: Director Arthur Lander

  • The Systems Biology Core builds on substantive excellence in this area derived from the work in the Center for Complex Biological Systems (CCBS), established in 2001, one of only 13 P50 NIH-funded National Centers for Systems Biology. Through innovative research, the CCBS has established itself as a leading national center for systems biology..