Year elected: 2018
Current membership category: Active
Vice President, ImmunodermatologyJanssen Research & Development
1400 McKean Road
PO Box 776
Spring House, PA 19477
United States of America
I am currently the Vice Chair for Research and Associate Professor in the Department of Dermatology, Department of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases), Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The goal of my research is to understand mechanisms of protective innate and adaptive immune responses to skin pathogens. My work has resulted in seminal discoveries involving Toll-like receptors (TLRs), IL-1β/inflammasome responses and T cell subsets in immunity to Staphylococcus aureus. This area of research is important because of the widespread emergence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains, which are creating a serious public health threat. My research also involves the investigation of aberrant immune responses and the skin microbiome in inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, which has led to key discoveries involving a role for IL-36 and MyD88- and STAT3-signaling in contributing to skin inflammation. Finally, my research efforts have expanded to study protective immune responses and novel antibacterial coatings to help prevent or treat bacterial biofilm-related infections of medical devices, prostheses and implants. These infections are a devastating post-surgical complication as bacterial biofilms form on the foreign implanted materials, which inhibit the efficacy of antibiotics and block penetration of immune cells. My laboratory employs advanced techniques of in vivo whole animal bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging to noninvasively and longitudinally monitor bacterial clearance and host immune responses. In addition, we have utilized in vivo multimodality imaging (optical, PET, CT and photoacoustic imaging) as well as human skin organotypic cultures and humanized mouse models possessing both human skin and immune cells. It is my hope that these research efforts will lead to novel immune-based therapies to help combat skin infections, inflammatory skin diseases and biofilm-related infections.