Researcher’s Profile

Angela Christiano, PhD

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The major focus of our research is the study of inherited skin and hair disorders in humans and mice, through a classical genetic approach including identification and phenotyping of disease families, genetic linkage, gene discovery and mutation analysis, and functional studies relating these findings to basic questions in epidermal biology. Our interests include transcriptional regulation of hair cycling and differentiation, the biology of cadherin-mediated cell adhesion junctions known as desmosomes, and the morphogenesis epidermal appendages such as hair and teeth. A long-range goal of our research is to develop genetic and cell-based therapies for skin and hair diseases through understanding disease pathogenesis. We are using epithelial reprogramming as a therapeutic approach for inherited skin diseases.

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Molecular basis of inherited skin and hair disorders in humans and mice.

Research Statement: 

The major focus of our research is the study of inherited skin and hair disorders in humans and mice, through a classical genetic approach including identification and phenotyping of disease families, genetic linkage, gene discovery and mutation analysis, and functional studies relating these findings to basic questions in epidermal biology. Our interests include transcriptional regulation of hair cycling and differentiation, the biology of cadherin-mediated cell adhesion junctions known as desmosomes, and the morphogenesis epidermal appendages such as hair and teeth. A long-range goal of our research is to develop genetic and cell-based therapies for skin and hair diseases through understanding disease pathogenesis. We are using epithelial reprogramming as a therapeutic approach for inherited skin diseases.

Publications: 

1. Ahmad, W., ul Haque, M.F., Brancolini, V., Tsou, H.C., ul Haque, S., Lam, H.M., Aita, V.M., Owen, J., deBlaquiere, M., Frank, J.A., Cserhalmi-Friedman, P.B., Leask, A., McGrath, J., Peacocke, M., Ahmad, M., Ott, J. and Christiano, A.M. : (1998) Alopecia Universalis Associated with a Mutation in the Human hairless Gene.  Science  279: 720-724 

2. Frank, J., Pignata, C., Panteleyev, A.A., Prowse, D.M., Baden, H., Weiner, L., Gaetaniello, L., Ahmad, W., Pozzi, N., Cserhalmi-Friedman, P.B., Aita, V.M., Uyttendaele, H., Gordon, D., Ott, J., Brissette, J.L. and Christiano, A.M. : (1999) Exposing the Human Nude Phenotype .  Nature  398: 473-474 

3. Reynolds, A.J., Lawrence, C., Cserhalmi-Friedman, P.B., Christiano, A.M. and Jahoda, C.A.B.: (1999) Trans-gender Induction of Hair Follicles.  Nature  402: 33-34 

4. Djabali, K., Aita, V,M, and Christiano, A.M. : (2001) Hairless is translocated to the nucleus via a novel bipartite nuclear localization signal and is associated with the nuclear matrix.  J. Cell Science  114: 367-376 

5. Panteleyev, A.A., Jahoda, C.A.B. and Christiano, A.M.: (2001) Hair Follicle Predetermination.  J. Cell Science   114: 3419-3431 

6. Kljuic, A., Bazzi, H., Sundberg, J.P., Martinez-Mir, A., O'Shaughnessy, R., Mahoney, M.G., Levy, M., Montagutelli, X., Ahmad, W., Aita, V.M.,Gordon, D., Uitto, J., Whiting, D., Ott, J., Fischer, S., Gilliam, T.C., Jahoda, C.A.B., Morris, R.J., Panteleyev,: (2003) Desmoglein 4 in hair follicle differentiation and epidermal adhesion: Evidence from inherited hypotrichosis and acquired pemphigus vulgaris.  Cell  113: 249-260