Past & Current Feasibility Studies

Past Studies:

Pilot and Feasibility Study #1
Title: Green Tea: Photodermatological Effects of UV-Induced DNA Damage
Principal Investigator: Santosh Katiyar, Ph.D.
Funding Period: 8/04 - 07/05
Brief Description: The mechanism of the effect of green tea polyphenols on DNA damage, acute phototoxicity (sunburn) and photocarcinogenesis were investigated, with an emphasis on determining whether IL-12 was an intermediary in this process.

Pilot and Feasibility Study #3
Title: Nicotinic Receptor Mediated Effects of Acetyfcholine on Cutaneous Vascular Endothelial Cells
Principal Investigator: Kent Keyser, Ph.D.
Funding Period: 8/04 - 7/06
Brief Description: Dr. Keyser examined nicotinic acid receptor expression and signal transduction pathways in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells.

Pilot and Feasibility Study #4
Title: QTL Analysis of Atopic Dermatitis
Principal Investigator: John Mountz, M.D.
Funding Period: 8/04 - 7/05
Brief Description: The overall goal of this study was to determine genetic loci that regulate chronic atopic dermatitis in a mouse model of that disease.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #5
Title: Regulation of Retinoid Signaling by KLF4 in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Principal Investigator: J. Michael Ruppert, M.D., Ph.D.
Funding Period: 8/05 - 7/07
Brief Description: The overall goal of this proposal is to characterize the role of retinoic acid receptors as transcriptional targets of KLF4, and modulators of KLF4 function.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #6
Title: Primary Cilia and Intraflagellar Transport in Skin and Hair Pathology
Principal Investigator: Bradley Yoder, Ph.D. Funding Period: 8/05 - 7/07 Brief Description: The objectives of this proposal were: (1) to analyze where cilia are located in the skin and hair follicle during development and in different stages of postnatal hair follicle cycling; (2) to characterize the phenotypic consequences of ciliary dysfunction on different cell lineages of the dermis and epidermis in the skin and hair follicles; and (3) to elucidate the effect of ciliary dysfunction on the Shh and Wnt signaling pathways governing normal skin and hair follicle development.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #7
Title: Mechanism of Langerhans Cell Activation on CD8 T Cells
Principal Investigator: Laura Timares, Ph.D.
Funding Period: 8/04 - 7/05
Brief Description: The purpose of this proposal was to test the hypothesis that Langerhans cells transfer skin-specific information (exogenous skin-derived antigens and skin homing) to lymph node-resident CD8a+ DC for cross-presentation and development of skin-specific CD8 T cell responses


Pilot and Feasibility Study #8
Title: Exploring the Interstitial Microenvironment during Contact Dermatitis by In Vivo Capillary Ultrafiltration Sampling and Proteomic Approaches
Principal Investigator: Chao-Cheng Wang, Ph.D.
Funding Period: 8/06 - 7/07
Brief Description: The purpose of this study was to develop a novel in vivo sampling technique using a capillary ultrafiltration probe that could be implanted into skin sites to extract interstitial fluids. By combining 2D gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, Dr. Wang investigated the feasibility of using this technique to explore proteins present in the interstitial microenvironment in vivo.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #9
Title: Psoriasiform Dermatitis
Principal Investigator: Daniel Bullard, Ph.D.
Funding Period: 8/06 - 7/08
Brief Description: In this proposal, Dr. Bullard used the CD18Hypo PL/J model in which animals spontaneously develop a psoriasiform dermatitis, as well as other transgenic mouse systems, to specifically address the hypothesis that Beta 2 integrin expression is a key determinant for maintaining T cell tolerance mechanisms that regulate the development of psoriasiform dermatitis.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #10
Title: The Role of FRNK in Dermal Fibroblast Migration and Differentiation
Principal Investigator: Qiang Ding, Ph.D.
Funding Period: 8/07 - 7/08
Brief Description: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase that mediates both integrin/ECM and growth factor/receptor-initiated cell migration. FAK-related-non-kinase (FRNK) is an endogenous FAK inhibitor, and FRNK overexpression inhibits FAK-dependent cell migration promoted by growth factors and integrin receptors in many other cell types. The hypothesis of this application was that FRNK modulates cutaneous fibrosis in vivo through inhibition of FAK-dependent dermal fibroblast migration and myofibroblast differentiation.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #11
Title: A Novel Melanoma Vaccination Therapy
Principal Investigator: Joel Glasgow, Ph.D.
Funding Period: 8/07 - 7/09
Brief Description: A system for the in vivo activations of DCs that employs a fusion protein comprised of a TAA fused to the DC-relevant CD40 lingand (CD40L) has shown promise for inducing anti-tumor immune response. In this system, the fusion protein (TAA-CD40L) is secreted from normal skin cells following transduction with an adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) vector encoding the fusion. DCs in the skin then take up this fusion protein and elicit a TAA-specific anti-tumor response via cytotoxic T-cells. While this fusion protein strategy has significant potential to realize the benefits afforded by DC-based immunotherapy, significant vector-associated limitations must be addressed prior to clinical translation. The purpose of this study was to produce modifications to the vector that would increase its immunization potential. A major attraction of this application is the use of topical adenovirus vectors that target cutaneous dendritic cells.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #12
Title: Natural History and Biology of Dermal Neurofibromas in Patients with Neurofibromatosis 1
Principal Investigator: Amy Theos, M.D.
Funding Period: 8/07 - 7/09
Brief Description: This project proposes to develop objective tools for following progression of cutaneous neurofibroma. This information will be important for understanding the natural history of skin tumors in NF1, and ultimately will be used in clinical trials, aimed at treating this manifestation of NF1.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #13
Title: Human Induced Pluripotent Cells to Investigate Inherited Skin diseases
Principal Investigator: Louise T. Chow, Ph.D.
Funding Period: 8/08 - 8/09
Brief Description: This project will establish from human induced pluripotent stem cells organotypic skin cultures that recapitulate rare inherited skin diseases, thereby making them available for experimental analysis and therapeutic discovery.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #14
Title: Role of the Innate Immune System in Regulation of UVB Induced Skin Carcinogenesis
Principal Investigator: Nabiha Yusuf, Ph.D.
Funding Period: 8/08 - 8/09
Brief Description: Ultraviolet radiation suppresses immunological function and, in so doing, contributes to skin cancer development. Recent studies from my Dr. Yusuf's laboratory have suggested that mice with a mutation in the TLR4 gene are resistant to UV-induced immune suppression. This proposal will investigate the mechanistic basis for this resistance and determine whether it has an impact on UV-induced skin cancers.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #15
Title: Investigating the Requirement for Tbet Expression during Psoriasis
Principal Investigator: Laurie Harrington, Ph.D.
Brief Description: These studies are designed to provide new information regarding the molecular mechanisms of CD4 T cell-mediated psoriasis. The findings from these studies may identify new potential targets for therapeutic and/or preventive strategies designed to ablate psoriasis, as well as other chronic inflammatory disorders.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #16
Title: Exploring Unexplored KSHV Genes in Dermal Microvascular Endothelial Cells
Principal Investigator: Mary E. Ballestas, Ph.D.
Brief Description: Transplant recipients and patients with HIV/AIDS have decreased immune system function which contributes to an increased risk of cancer due to herpesviruses like Epstein Barr Virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma Associated Herpesvirus. Understanding how the KSHV orf 35 gene and its associated cell partners contribute to oncogenesis will lead to better targeted therapies for malignancies like Kaposi's and likely other cancers.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #17
Title: Developing and Validating a Skin Explant Model for HIV Transmission
Principal Investigator: Beatrice Hahn, M.D.
Brief Description: Realistic models of HIV transmission are needed to answer questions critical to vaccine and microbicide development. We will develop a model that reflects an important aspect of transmission absent from other models - the barriers to transmission are efficient and usually limit infection to a single transmitted or founder strain. This system will allow us to address questions such as which cell types are first infected and whether or not some viruses are more likely to be transmitted than others.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #18
Title: Top-down Proteomic Analysis of Protein Differences in Mouse Skin Induced by Sodium Arsenite
Principal Investigator: Helen Kim, Ph.D.
Brief Description: In this study, we will implement Top-Down Proteomics approaches to determine mouse skin protein abundance and posttranslational modification changes following exposure to toxic levels of arsenic (sodium arsenite - NaAsO2) in drinking water. This approach will not only confirm previous data obtained with Western blot analysis but may also provide novel mechanistic insight for the roles of posttranslational modifications (phosphorylation, acetylation) previously implicated in sodium arsenite poisoning (on p53 and p38).

Pilot and Feasibility Study #19
Title: Combinational Approach for Prevention of Melanoma
Principal Investigator: Farrukh Afaq, Ph.D.

Pilot and Feasibility Study #20
Title: Fibroblast-Embedded Electrospun Matrices for Skin Regeneration 
Principal Investigator:  Susan Bellis, Ph.D.

Pilot and Feasibility Study #21
Title: Myeloid-derived Regulatory Cells in "Atopic March" 
Principal Investigator:  Jessy DeShane,Ph.D.

Pilot and Feasibility Study #22
Title: Role of DHRS9 Oxidoreductase in Skin cancer  
Principal Investigator: Natalia Kedishvili, Ph.D.


Pilot and Feasibility Study #23
Title: Skin MIcrobiome Analysis Following UV Irradiation
Principal Investigator: Casey Morrow, Ph.D., CoInvestigator: Nabiha Yusuf, Ph.D.

Pilot and Feasibility Study #24
Title: TCR V repertoire sequence analysis to identify diagnostic psoriasis-specific CDR3 sequences
Principal Investigator:  Laura Timares, PH.D. in collaboration with Hudson Alpha