The Glass lab focuses on how genes regulate skin development and function by studying how gene mutations or abnormal gene expression lead to skin disease. Our long-term goal is to develop research-based therapies for various skin conditions.
We use multidisciplinary approaches to identify and characterize genes that cause susceptibility to keloid formation. Keloids are large scars that grow invasively past the borders of the inciting wound into adjacent normal skin, and are the result of an exaggerated healing response to skin damage. The ability to develop keloids can be inherited within families; patients of African, Hispanic, or Asian ancestry are more likely to develop keloids than Caucasian patients. However, little is known about the molecular pathways mediating the initiation and progression of keloid formation.
We also study rare inherited skin diseases — genodermatoses — using classical genetic approaches such as characterizing affected families, linkage analysis, and analysis of mutations. Pure hair nail ectodermal dysplasia (PHNED) and craniosynostosis-anal anomalies-porokeratosis (CAP syndrome) are two of the conditions being studied in the lab.