Speaker: prof. Sara Brown, The University of Edinburgh, UK
Talk: "Genetic mechanisms in atopic eczema – from population to cell biology"
Time: 21.10.2022, 9:00 am
Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042B
Professor Sara Brown is a clinical academic, with research focused on genetic predisposition to the inflammatory skin disease atopic/eczema and associated systemic conditions. She graduated with Honours in Medicine & Surgery from the University of Edinburgh and completed her specialist training in Dermatology in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and then obtained an MD in Human Genetics with commendation in 2008. She spent 10 months as a post-CCT Fellow in Paediatric Dermatology in Dublin, Ireland, before moving to Dundee in October 2009.
Sara was awarded a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship in 2009, to continue her research on the role of filaggrin in atopic disease. In 2014 Sara established her own lab in the School of Medicine and in 2015 was the first UK dermatologist to be awarded a prestigious Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Clinical Science, in recognition and support of her on-going research in molecular genetic dermatology focussed on understanding eczema pathogenesis. In 2015 Sara was promoted to a Personal chair in Molecular and Genetic Dermatology. Her lab moved to the Institute of Genetics and Cancer, University of Edinburgh in 2020.
Sara become interested in genetic mechanisms underlying skin disease at the time of the ground-breaking discovery of FLG mutations. She conducted the first population-based cohort study to show that FLG null mutations affect risk of the milder eczema phenotype that is very prevalent in the community, in addition to the severe disease. Sara continued her research in atopic eczema and she has developed a pipeline of discovery from genomic and genetic variation at the population level, to subgroups in vivo and mechanistic studies in vitro. She is an active member of a European Barrier Epidermal Research Network (E2BRN) and was recently elected its co-chair; she also takes part in Europe-wide COST initiatives related to the skin. As a clinician-scientist Sara has participated in multiple research trials and multi-centre studies focused on eczema genetics. Her contributions include multiple publications in high-end journals, incl. J Allergy Clin Immunol, Lancet, J Investigative Dermatology, Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, PLOS One Medicine, J Am Acad Dermatology.