Exciting emerging areas of biomedical research include the Skin-Gut and the Skin-Brain axes. In particular the discovery of gut (our skin on the inside!) and skin microbiomes, and that skin (our brain on the outside!) may serve as a proxy tissue to study the brain, have stimulated much interest in research into connectivity between these disparate tissues in both healthy and disease states.
Here in the Charles Institute we examine the cell biologic and molecular biologic events that connect these different organs and tissues, especially in the context of disease. For example, we are interested in investigating whether skin immunopathologies may be primed in the gut (e.g., alopecia areata, celiac disease) and whether the early signs of brain neurodegeneration (e.g., Parkinson's disease) may be observable in the skin.