Clinical and Translational Research Group in Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer and Human Skin Aging

Non-melanoma Skin Cancer

Skin cancers may arise when normal aging processes go awry. Recent advances in our understanding of basal cell skin cancer biology have enabled the development of cutting edge study drugs, which combat tumor growth. We work in conjunction with medical and radiation oncologists as well as surgeons to combine therapy in fighting skin cancer.

We are currently home to a number of clinical trials at the fore front of potential therapy for advanced or metastatic basal cell and squamous cell cancers. Additionally, we seek to understand the biology of skin cancers and to identify molecular predictors for treatment success.

Non-melanoma skin cancer incidence: contribution of non-sunbelt locales and ultraviolet indices in the United States from 2010-2017

Submitted manuscript: Vora, P., Li, S., Oh, G., Webb T., Perry, W., Park, C., and Chang, A.L.S. (2023).

COVID-19 Long Term Immunity in Skin Cancer Patients

Collaborators: Dr. Scott Boyd (MD, PhD) - Professor of Pathology/ Dr. Lisa Zaba (MD, PhD) - Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology/ Research Teams

Creating Organoids

Development of a New Method for Culturing and Growing Human Solid Tumors and Normal Tissues in vitro

Collaborators: Dr. Calvin Kuo (MD, PhD) & Lab Team

Human Skin Aging Studies

Normal skin aging may serve as a brake for development of skin cancers; we seek to understand the human aging process as it relates to skin on a fundamental level. 

To this end, our studies focus on clinical and translational research efforts ranging from:

1) The analysis of gene changes, which predispose individuals to exceptionally youthful skin to

2) Molecular signatures that may be biomarkers for aging skin to

3) The careful study of new candidate agents which might affect the skin aging process.

Role of Autophagy Pathways in Vitro Studies of Younger and Older Human Skin

  • 1) To investigate age associated changes in Autophagy-related Gene (ARG) expression across two extreme age-groups in pigmented skin types
  • 2) To determine whether additon of metformin in vitro can alter ARGs' gene expression in dermal fibroblasts and reverse the cellular aging phenotype

Skin Diseases Enriched in Older Adults

Rosacea studies to identify causes, risk factors, and new treatments

Perry, W. M., Vora, P., Oh, G., Park, C., & Chang, A. L. S. (2023). 

Use of calcitonin gene-related peptide monoclonal antibodies in patients with rosacea: an exploratory comparative case series

Submitted manuscript: Sia, T., Li, S., Moskatel, L.S., and Chang, A.L.S. (2023).

Genetic Basis of Rosacea

Rosacea is a common disease characterized by inflammation and vascular abnormalities of the facial skin and ocular surface. The exact pathogenesis of papulopustular rosacea is not well understood and current methods to treat this disease are often unsatisfactory.

The purpose of this study is to develop gene expression profiles of papulopustular rosacea compared to those of normal skin. The investigators hope to better understand the abnormal gene functions that might contribute to this condition.

This understanding may lead to the development of additional and better treatments for rosacea.

For more information regarding these studies, please contact Dr. Anne Chang, Professor of Dermatology, at: