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J.T. Elder

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Primary Appointment: Dermatology Department
PubMed Name: Elder J OR Elder JT
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 DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH
  Our lab uses genetic linkage and association to learn more about the pathogenesis of psoriasis, a common, inflammatory and hyperproliferative skin disease. We were the first to definitively identify the PSORS1 (psoriasis susceptibility 1) gene, located in the major histocompatibility complex, as HLA-Cw6, and confirmed genetic associations between psoriasis and IL12B, which encodes the p40 subunit common to IL-12 and IL-23, and IL23R, which encodes the IL23 receptor. We have carried out genome-wide association scans of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, which have identified 36 susceptibility loci thus far. We have also carrying out a combined analysis of global gene expression and DNA variation in psoriasis, using microarray and RNA-seq to assess the psoriatic transcriptome.
We are now transitioning from a genetic to a functional approach. We have numerous solid candidate genes and pathways, validated by major efforts in genetics, that are ripe for exploration. My lab and those of my colleagues have all the cell biological and immunological tools to integrate the genetics with the biology (especially the immunology) of psoriasis.
We are particularly interested in how the immune system activates the epidermal injury response mechanism in psoriasis. This process appears to require the entry of CD8+ T-cells into the epidermal compartment. Studies currently underway are characterizing the gene expression and cytokine profiles of this T-cell population.