Christopher O’Neill received a B.A. in Biology and Music at the University of Virginia. As an undergraduate, he researched the role of programmed death-1 (PD-1) as expressed by regulatory T cells (Tregs) and its effects on other immune and nonimmune cells during acute kidney injury (AKI). Christopher currently works as a Postbaccalaureate IRTA Fellow in the Laboratory of Skin Biology at the NIAMS, studying the cellular and molecular dynamics underlying dysregulated wound healing. In the future, he intends to pursue a medical degree.
Chronic nonhealing wounds are complex, multifactorial diseases that affect over 6.5 million people annually in the U.S. alone. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), a common complication of diabetes, are a leading cause of lower-limb amputations worldwide. Christopher’s research focuses on using genomics, mouse, and human models to determine the transcriptional networks and mechanisms by which SRY-box transcription factor 2 (SOX2) reverses this complication. The goal is to identify novel therapeutic targets that can reprogram DFUs into healing-competent wounds.