The skin is the largest organ of the body.
It protects us from microbes and the elements, helps to regulate body temperature, and permits sensations. The skin is under constant renewal throughout life and can rapidly repair when injured. It is composed of three layers: the epidermis, being the outer layer, the dermis in the middle, and the hypodermis being the innermost layer of skin.
The skin stem cells upon which reNEW researchers focus are those found in the basal layers of the epidermis. Our researchers use stem cell-derived human skin equivalent tissues to understand the basis of genetic skin disease and understand how this remarkable organ can cope with stretch post surgery or injury. Using both pluripotent stem cells and adult stem cell derived models of the skin, they also hope to develop new treatments for genetic skin disorders, as well as acquired skin damages such as burns caused by heat or chemicals, and poor vascularization.