Working with Industry

The UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology advances progress in skin science at both basic discovery and translational levels via consultancy, contract research, collaborative research projects, as well as consultancy.  

We partner with Government agencies, Charities, Pharma, and other Industry and Personal care sectors.

Our Institute’s Principal Investigators are internationally highly-esteemed and have developed projects with organizations of all sizes, and have also generated spinout companies (e.g., Vornia, Blafar, Brancha Bunús) and intellectual property including in collaborations with partners (e.g., LVMH, BASF etc).

The Institute has a strong research support team, including at technical officer and research assistant levels, in addition to PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, who can work with industry colleagues on contract research and collaborative research projects.

The Charles has a biobank of human skin cells and tissues, and works closely with Dublin-based clinics to facilitate research at the Institute. 

We are strongly committed to excellence in research and innovation and to delivering impact locally, nationally and globally.To that end, we work in close association with Nova UCD (, the hub of innovation related activities at University College Dublin.


  • Pigmentation science (skin and hair follicle) in health (including aging) and disease (vitiligo, hype-rpigmentation, melanoma). Tobin Lab. 
  • Skin wound healing (incl. model development for chronic wounds, gene therapy for EB, polymer/hydrogel development) Wang Lab; Tobin Lab.
  • Inflammatory Skin Disease. Immunology  of skin disease (incl. Hidradenitis suppurativa, psoriasis, rosacea; alopecia areata). Kirby Lab; Powell Lab; Tobin Lab.
  • Skin Cancer (esp. melanoma). Kiel Lab; Tobin Lab. 
  • Hair follicle biology (normal hair growth; androgenetic alopecia; alopecia areata).  Tobin Lab. 



Tobin Lab: 

  • Isolation and characterization of human skin cells (dermal fibroblasts by gender and age (abdomen and scalp). 
  • Cultivation of low passage skin cells (mono & co-cultures as monolayers) for behavioural and genetic studies. 
  • Isolation and culture of human hair follicles (for organ culture) and hair follicle derived cells (outer root sheath, dermal sheath, dermal papilla, follicular melanocytes. 
  • Derivation of dermal adipose cells and culture to investigate effects on wound healing
  • Isolation and culture of melanocytes (epidermis, hair follicle) 
  • Co-culture of epidermal keratinocytes and melanocytes for melanin transfer assay
  • Interactions with skin and hair cells/tissue at cell, protein and gene levels
  • Secretome studies from cells in vitro (proteomics analysis) to study young vs aged cells
  • Bioinformatics analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data to discover epigenetic markers in skin ageing and diseases
  • Gene knock down studies in ex vivo tissue models
  • Ex vivo organ cultures of hair follicle (hair fiber elongation studies, catagen induction). 
  • Ex vivo organ culture - whole skin histocultures. 


Consulting Services

Please identify the thematic area and/or Principal Investigator to discuss.  


Who we’ve worked with in the past/ Our Partners

Within the last 10 years Des Tobin is working/has worked from colleagues from: Walgreens-Boots-Alliance; LVMH, BASF, Dr A Wolff GMBH & Co KG Arzneimittel (Pharma; Germany); L'Oreal (France); Marico Ltd. (India); Unilever (UK); Arch/Lonza (USA); Nacuity (USA); Theya Healthcare; Janssen.