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Therapy development for atopic eczema: using a high-content screen to investigate genetic control of skin barrier formation

College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Prof Sara Brown Monday, May 31, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Brown lab focusses on understanding genetic mechanisms in the common inflammatory skin disease, atopic eczema. Applying findings from genome-wide analysis to skin organoid cultures we have shown that the gene EMSY is a master-regulator of skin differentiation. EMSY is therefore a strong candidate for therapeutic target, but the molecular mechanism(s) in skin have not been fully elucidated. We have developed and optimised a phenotypic screen for high-content screening in 384-well format, in collaboration with the National Phenotypic Screening Centre. This will allow the identification of compounds showing an affect on nuclear EMSY in human primary keratinocytes – a cellular model of direct relevance to the disease of interest. Hit compounds will be characterised in human keratinocytes and tested in our skin organoid model for functional analysis. The PhD project will comprise: phenotypic screening, data analysis, follow-up studies and functional testing. Outputs will be of direct interest to the pharmaceutical industry in the fast-moving field of inflammatory skin disease therapeutics.

Project collaborators: National Phenotypic Screening Centre, Dundee

For further information on how to apply for this PhD opportunity, please visit:

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