My main scientific focus is to explore the role of a class of non-coding RNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) in psoriasis, to understand their roles in regulatory pathways underlying chronic skin inflammation and to explore their potential to become therapeutic targets and biomarkers for psoriasis. Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease, considered as a systemic inflammatory disease with significant comorbidities.
Results from our lab strongly implicate miRNAs in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. We are currently investigating the function and therapeutic potential of miRNAs in psoriasis by
(1) in vivo functional studies of psoriasis-associated miRNAs, (2) exploring psoriasis associated
pathways including miRNAs/ protein-coding transcripts (3) exploring possibilities of miRNA modulation for topical and systemic treatment. MiRNA modulation may be a promising approach for the treatment of psoriasis, or other inflammatory diseases, since miRNA modulation can affect entire pathways rather than single molecules, and miRNA inhibitors have been shown to be well-tolerated in human studies.
Another main goal for my research is the identification of long non-coding RNA (lncRNAs). We have recently identified deregulated lncRNAs in psoriasis keratinocytes, among others lincRNA(LINC00958) was one of the top upregulated lncRNA. We hypothesize that LINC00958 and other lncRNAs with altered levels in psoriasis keratinocytes could modulate the pathophysiological hallmarks of psoriasis including epidermal hyperplasia, immune cell infiltration or altered differentiation.