Project Title: The skin proteome in relation to body site
Supervisor 1: Prof Eugene Healy, Professor of Dermatology
Supervisor 2: Mr Paul Skipp, Principal Experimental Officer (Proteomics)
Supervisor 3: Dr Chris Pickard, Lecturer in Dermatopharmacology
The skin acts as a barrier against the external environment, and is constantly bombarded by noxious agents, including microbes (bacteria, viruses and fungi), allergens (fragrances, rubber, preservatives, etc), irritants (detergents, acids, alkalis) and ultraviolet radiation (from sunshine or sunbeds). The skin varies phenotypically according to body site (e.g. degree of pigmentation, hair growth, dermal thickness, etc.) and in its ability to heal wounds with slower healing on the lower parts of the body and a higher risk of hypertrophic scarring on the upper torso. The exposure to noxious agents is also heavily influenced by body site, for example ultraviolet radiation affects exposed skin whereas cosmetic products may be applied to widespread or more restricted areas of skin. There also exist variations in the propensity for diseases to affect certain skin sites, with psoriasis typically occurring on the extensor surfaces whereas atopic eczema frequently arises on the flexural surfaces. The current project aims to investigate the skin proteomics in relation to body site in order to provide an in-depth qualitative and quantitative characterization of the skin proteome at different anatomical sites and within the different layers of skin. The student will work as part of an integrated team involving dermatology, skin matrix biology, proteomics and bioinformatics and will utilise the latest proteomic methodologies and high-resolution mass spectrometers to generate systematic estimates of cellular concentrations of proteins within skin, as well as elucidating the core functional pathways and the diversity of the proteome / functional pathways operating within different anatomical skin sites.
Applicants for this 4-year PhD, starting in October 2012, should possess or expect to be awarded an Upper Second or 1st Class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Studentships are available to UK nationals and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. The studentship will support the student’s stipend and tuition fees. Informal enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pickard C, Louafi F, McGuire C, Lowings K, Kumar P, Cooper H, Dearman RJ, Cumberbatch M, Kimber I, Healy E, Friedmann PS. The cutaneous biochemical redox barrier: a component of the innate immune defenses against sensitization by highly reactive environmental xenobiotics. J Immunol 2009;183:7576-84.
Nicholas B, ,Skipp P, Barton S, Bagmane D, Singh D, Mould R, Angco G, Davies D, Rennard S, O’Connor D, Djukanovic R. Identification of lipocalin and apolipoprotein as biomarkers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2010;181:1049-60.
Robinson S, Dixon S, August S, Diffey B, Wakamatsu K, Ito S, Friedmann PS, Healy E. Protection against ultraviolet radiation involves MC1R-mediated non-pigmentary and pigmentary mechanisms in vivo. J Invest Dermatol 2010;30:1904-13.