With skin disease affecting around a third of the UK population, our Cutaneous Medicine theme focuses on skin diseases of major importance due to their high prevalence, associated mortality and psychological impacts.

The Cutaneous Medicine theme builds on the established translational work of the St. John’s Institute by developing novel therapies and diagnostic across all aspects of human skin disease. We do this by:

  • Developing novel precision therapeutics for genetic, inflammatory and neoplastic skin disease;
  • Developing biomarkers and co-diagnostics for genetic, inflammatory and neoplastic skin diseases;
  • Delivering an internationally leading bioresource for the study of skin disease and outcomes associated with skin disease.

Unique environment for human skin research

Our Cutaneous Medicine theme is based within the St John’s Institute of Dermatology; one of the leading multidisciplinary clinical and research centres in the UK, recognised as the training centre for the next generation of skin scientists, and adjacent to the BRC.

The institute is unique in its provision of care, nationally and internationally, with numerous specialist units including NCG funded centres for epidermolysisbullosa and xerodermapigmentosum. Within this unique, multidisciplinary environment for translational human skin research, our Cutaneous Medicine is delivered via four programmes:

  • Programme 1: Advanced therapy platform in rare skin diseases unsing next generation cell and biologic therapies
  • Programme 2: An integrated Cutaneous BioResource and Data Warehousing
  • Programme 3: Proof of principle precision medicine studies in inflammatory skin disease
  • Programme 4: Translational antibody therapeutic development for melanoma.

Successes

Our strong academic and clinical integration with national specialised services, NICE guidelines, quality standards links key roles in national consortia and partnership with patients has facilitated rapid translation of successful research outputs into patient care. These include:

  • Improved diagnosis for patients through whole xenome sequencing
  • Introduced whole xenome sequencing research findings into enhanced diagnostics in an NHS diagnostics lab
  • Completed a randomised phase I/II vehicle controlled trial of intradermal injections of allogeneic fibroblasts into wounds of patients with RDEB
  • Completed phase I/II trial of intravenous infusions of allogeneic bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cellsin children with RDEB, leading to an ongoing evaluation of use of this therapy as part of routine NHS outpatient treatment due to their positive impact on wound healing and reduction in distressing symptoms such as pain and itching.
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Theme lead

Professor Jonathan Barker