Led by Dr. Michael Ombrello, the unit uses genomic approaches to understand the underlying factors of autoinflammatory and rheumatic diseases.
The human back is a complex structure with bones, nerves, tendons, discs, and more — all places where something can go wrong and cause pain, which, for many people, becomes a long-term or chronic problem. Life stresses and other medical and mental health conditions aggravate the problem. With so many pieces, it’s hard to get a holistic view of the puzzle or pinpoint the cause of the pain. “People tend to focus on one aspect or another,” said Jeffrey Lotz, Ph.D., a medical engineer who studies back pain at the University of California, San Francisco. “Some people think it’s largely
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A type of skin cell called a dermal fibroblast can make an antimicrobial compound called cathelicidin in response to infection by acne-causing bacteria.
Human skin is home to diverse ecosystems including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These microbial communities comprise hundreds of species and are collectively known as the skin microbiome.
Researchers published a proof-of-principle paper in the journal Science Immunology demonstrating just how precision medicine for inflammatory skin rashes might work.
A treatment for severe skin inflammation that works well in lean mice made the condition worse in obese mice because of immune-cell changes associated with obesity.
A research team led by Dr. Makarand Risbud of Thomas Jefferson University tested whether treatment with the drugs dasatinib and quercetin would prevent disc degeneration in mice. Both drugs are senolytics, which selectively remove aged cells known as senescent cells.
HEAL-funded researcher Conor Walsh, Ph.D., and his team at the Harvard Biodesign Lab specialize in developing soft “exosuits” – wearable devices that help people with muscle weakness (for example, after a stroke) so they can regain movement and muscle strength.