Psoriasis Genetics & Pathophysiology
Director: James T. Elder, MD, PhD
Utilizing tools of molecular biology and genetics, Dr. Elder's laboratory is working to better understand several human skin diseases. Dr. Elder's lab is a world leader in the use of genetic linkage and association techniques to learn more about how the immune system activates the epidermal wound healing mechanism in psoriasis, and joint destruction in psoriatic arthritis. His current efforts in this area are focused on gene identification of PSORS1, a major susceptibility gene located in the major histocompatibility complex.
Dr. Elder's laboratory also has a long-standing interest in the role of the EGF receptor (also known as ErbB1) as an activation signal for epidermal wound healing and carcinogenesis. Active projects in this area include (1) the characterization of an autocrine activation loop involving ErbB1, ERK and Src family kinases in human keratinocytes; and (2) elucidation of the function(s) of the heparin-binding ErbB ligand amphiregulin in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.