Department of Pathology


The research in my laboratory focuses on using the Skh-1 hairless murine preclinical model to understand the development of ultraviolet light induced squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. We design all of our studies taking into consideration the conditions in humans that contribute to the development of this most common cancer. Our murine model provides us with the opportunity to develop and test both preventive and treatment modalities that can then be applied to patients. We actively are testing a number of different topical and oral compounds as well as foods for potential use as chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents. We have used our mouse model to examine the effects of different therapeutically relevant immunosuppressive drugs, used by solid organ transplant patients, on UVB induced tumor development. Additionally we are examining differences in the skin and immune system of male and female mice in an attempt to understand why men develop three fold more ultraviolet light induced squamous cell carcinomas. We have shown that the increase in SCC development in male skin is not simply due to men spending more time outdoors, but rather that there are biological differences in the skin of males and females. I have 22 years of experience working with murine models studying the role of the inflammatory response in the development of keratinocyte cancers as well as in wound healing. I have been NIH funded continually for the last 18 years, have graduated 8 Ph.D. students and have mentored several postdoctoral fellows, undergraduate, high school and medical students.