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Investigator: Robert Swerlick
Phone: (404) 727-3669
Primary Research Interest: Dermatology
Description of Research: My rresearch focus has transitioned over the past two years to the study of how the skin responds to injury. We have developed in vitro and in vivo models examining the activation of signaling pathways which result as a consequence of irritant exposure. These pathways induce activation of the EGFR, resulting in inflammatory gene expression and induction of a proliferative pathway. We are presently mapping the relevant pathways and examining their relevance in vitro and in vivo.
Relevance to VA: The role of injury in the induction of skin disease has been recognized for hundreds of years and ultimately results in significant skin related morbidity. This is particularly relevant to servicemen and women who are exposed to a host of injurious agents while deployed. The effects may be short term and may result in acute or subacute debilitating injury. In addition, long term injury, particularly ultraviolet light and chemical injury may serve as a precursor to skin cancer development.

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