The newly-established Skin Diseases Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW SDRC), housed within the Department of Dermatology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), is one of only six NIH NIAMS sponsored Centers of its kind nationwide. The five other centers in the country include Duke, Columbia, Case Western, Northwestern and the University of Colorado. The goal of the UW SDRC is to increase research efficiency by bringing new and existing talents from outside departments to dermatology to enhance our research program. The dermatology department strives to become one of the outstanding academic programs in the nation through development of the full range of dermatological subspecialties involving cutaneous medicine, surgery and pathology. This Center is comprised of one Administrative Core and two Research Cores–Cell Culture and Experimental Cutaneous Pathology.
Our growth in clinical activity, research and education puts us among the top programs in the country. This grant is an exciting next step in our continued growth. We are indebted to faculty from dermatology and other departments who worked hard to create the infrastructure required for this grant. The participation of UW faculty from multiple schools across campus is a clear advantage to help us succeed.
Dr. Gary Wood
Director, Administrative Core
Co-Director, Experimental Cutaneous Pathology Core
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Core A: Administrative Core
The major goal of the Skin Diseases Research Center at the University of Wisconsin is to make our funded research program more effective by bringing new investigators into skin disease and cutaneous biology research, both established investigators new to the field and new basic scientists and physician scientists who wish to pursue research in these areas. The administrative core is set up to ensure that this goal is accomplished effectively.
The specific aims of the Administrative Core are:
- Leadership and Coordination.
- Management and Evaluation.
- Enrichment Program.
This Core is headed by Gary S. Wood, MD who has demonstrated a sustained commitment to excellence in cutaneous biology research. Dr. Wood has an excellent track record of outstanding administrative abilities. He is assisted by an Associate Director, Hasan Mukhtar, PhD, who served in the same capacity at Case Western Reserve University from 1988 until 2002, when he joined the UW-Madison. In addition to the Directors, an Executive Committee, Enrichment Program Director, and Leaders of the Mentoring, Pilot and Feasibility Studies, and Gender and Minority Awareness Programs serve as oversight to this core.
The Administrative Core coordinates all UW SDRC activities. It oversees the fiscal management of all functions of the UW SDRC, including the monitoring and maintenance of our two service cores, to ensure their effective utilization by all UW SDRC members. It also ensures that NIAMS support of the skin diseases research program at UW-Madison flourishes and fulfills all of its objectives in an efficient, cost effective, and timely manner.
Core B: Cell Culture Core
Skin diseases constitute a major public health burden in the US and worldwide. Understanding the cellular and molecular basis of these disease is facilitated by the availability of quality controlled pure populations of skin cells derived from both healthy and affected individuals. The Cell Culture Core of the UW SDRC will serve a large interdisciplinary group of scientists in their studies of human skin biology in health and disease. The Core Leader for the Cell Culture Core is Vijay Setaluri, PhD. Dr. Setaluri seeks to understand molecular mechanisms of skin cancer melanoma tumorigenesis and progression, and basic cell and molecular biology of epidermal melanocytes.
The specific aims of the Cell Culture Core are:
- Establish and maintain a cost-effective one-stop facility as a reliable source of quality-assured cells and cell cultures from normal and pathological human skin specimens and mouse models of skin diseases.
- Generate and maintain cryo-preserved stocks of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from skin fibroblasts for differentiation into epidermal and other cell types.
- Produce quality controlled high-titer lentiviruses for transduction of primary cell cultures.
- Provide hands-on training for manipulation of primary skin cells in vitro. This includes training in liposome-mediated transfection, electroporation, viral transduction, differentiation of iPSCs, generation of three-dimensional skin constructs.
- Provide freshly grown primary cultures and frozen cell pellets for isolation, purification, and analysis of macromolecules for biochemical and molecular biological studies.
Core C: Experimental Cutaneous Pathology Core
Skin disease causes significant morbidity, economic loss, and mortality to the US population, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or socio-economic group. A lack of appropriately prepared skin samples and expertise in processing and interpreting both human and animal skin are barriers to skin disease research. The Experimental Cutaneous Pathology Core will increase access to all types of skin samples and skin-specific pathology expertise, thereby benefitting the population of the US.
The Core Leader for the Experimental Cutaneous Pathology Core is B. Jack Longley, MD. Dr. Longley has over 30 years of experience in diagnostic and experimental pathology involving both human and animal skin. He is the director of the UW Dermatopathology Laboratory, which functions with the Mohs Surgical Laboratory.
The specific aims of the Experimental Cutaneous Pathology Core are:
- Provide samples of normal human skin and a wide variety of diseased skin, including de-identified specimens that can be obtained for feasibility studies exempt from IRB review.
- Provide subsidized pathology services including histologic, histochemical, immuno-histochemical, and immuno-fluorescence techniques optimized for studying human and animal skin.
- Provide hands on training and help with access to and application of state of the art, molecular and microscopic techniques to morphologic and quantitative studies of skin specimens.