We are delighted to have been awarded a grant by the British Skin Foundation.
This award will fund a new PhD studentship, to begin in autumn 2017 (supervised by Donald J. Davidson, Dave Clarke and Richard Weller), to develop and support complementary research into the potential of human beta-defensin 2 (hBD2) in atopic dermatitis. This interdisciplinary project will take Cell Biology, Chemistry, and Immunology focused approaches to evaluate mechanisms by which hBD2 can protect skin barrier integrity. With joint supervision from Inflammation Biology, Chemistry, and Clinical departments, the student will mechanistically evaluate the protective effects of hBD2 against harmful bacterial products and on modulating skin barrier function and inflammatory responses. The project will lay the foundation for future development peptide analogues, optimised around the critical functions of hBD2 identified, with both barrier-enhancing and microbicidal functions, and potential as safe, long-term, complementary or alternative therapeutics for AD.