Researcher biography

Molecular genetics and cellular biology of the skin.

Keratinocytes are the major cell type of the epidermis and have evolved to make terrestrial life possible. In laying down their lives, they provide a barrier protecting the organism from harmful UV radiation, viral, fungal and bacterial invasion as well as preventing desiccation. Keratinocytes express a unique subset of proteins depending on their state of development. Of interest to this laboratory are the keratins, which form the intermediate filament cytoskeleton of these cells, and the proteins with which they interact.

The laboratory has two key areas of investigation:

  1. characterising the molecular processes involved in normal skin and hair development and identifying the aberrations in these processes that result in skin cancers.
  2. characterising the process of epidermal differentiation and the roles of individual proteins in the maintenance of a functional epidermis. Related to this aim is the identification of disease-causing mutations.