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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Center


Northwestern University's Skin Disease Research Center established in 2009 is now the Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Center (SBDRC). Since 2009, the SBDRC has been funded by the NIH – National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The SBDRC supports the research, education, and communication among 74 members, of which 60 are Bench Researchers and 14 are Clinical Collaborative Associate Members from 16 university departments and 7 divisions within the Department of Medicine. The goal of the Northwestern University SBDRC is to promote outstanding bench and clinical research in cutaneous biology, with an emphasis on the keratinocyte and its microenvironment, ultimately to improve patient care.

The SBDRC is comprised of an Administrative Core and three distinct Research Cores which include the Skin Tissue Engineering and Morphology Core, the Translational and Experimental Skin Testing and Immune Tracing Core and the Gene Editing, Transduction and Nanotechnology Core. The Core facilities are designed to help SBDRC investigators accomplish their research goals related to cutaneous biology and to provide a level of support to newly recruited junior investigators who are interested in skin research. The Cores strive to provide all SBDRC users with access to specialized techniques, expertise, biological analysis and instrumentation that enhances research progress. The Cores promote optimizing the capabilities of manpower, sharing available resources and efforts while being cost effective. Each Core has a permanent, dedicated, well-trained staff member whose primary role is the education and assistance of SBDRC users in the special techniques available in that core. The Core facilities encourage collaborative opportunities between the Department of Dermatology and other departments within the Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern University. The Center provides education regarding new scientific investigation and technical advances to the university, and mentorship to junior scientists. In addition, funding of four SBDRC funded Pilot and Feasibility Studies annually, encourages junior scientists and more senior scientists from other fields to perform research related to cutaneous biology.

Skin Tissue Engineering and Morphology Core Services

  • Human Epidermal Keratinocytes
  • Human Skin Cell Isolation and Immortalization from Neonatal Foreskins or Skin Biopsies
  • Short and Long Term Mouse Keratinocyte Cultures
  • Human Skin Equivalents
  • Human Dermal Fibroblasts
  • Human Melanocytes
  • Culture Medium Supplies
  • Training and Consultations
  • Routine Tissue Processing for H&E Evaluation (Paraffin)
  • Frozen Sections
  • Routine Histochemical Stains
  • Special Sectioning Needs
  • Mouse Skin Phenotyping

Translational and Experimental Skin Testing and Immune Tracing Core Services

  • Provide service, equipment, protocols, and training to help investigators differentiate healthy skin from skin with abnormal immune responses at the cellular and molecular level, to enable biomarker identification as well as to increasing our knowledge of skin immune responses.
  • Homogenization and cell derivation from fresh tissues while preserving markers on the cell surface
  • Characterization of cell isolates at the protein levels by cytokine arrays, ELIPOTS and multi-parameter cell scanning or sorting
  • DNA or RNA analysis of captured tissue or single cells, including paired TCR subunit sequences  
  • Purification of immune cell populations to be combined with extracellular matrix composites containing keratinocytes, melanocytes and fibroblasts (genetically modified or not) in a 3D setting
  • Support for state-of-the-art multispectral analysis and imaging of diseased skin and skin reconstructs

Gene Editing Transduction and Nanotechnology Core Services

  • Provide retroviral and lentiviral systems 
  • Provide consultations and assistance with cloning of cDNA/RNA into the lentiviral and retroviral expression vectors 
  • Production of the retroviral or lentiviral stocks
  • Generation of stably infected cell cultures of primary keratinocytes, keratinocyte and other epithelial cell lines
  • Provide consultation and training related to the generation of stably infected cell cultures in the experimental application of retro- and lentiviruses.
  • Data and information archive, including the newly established Lentivirus Vector Library


All manuscripts and grants presenting work supported by this core should include the following acknowledgement:

"This research was supported in part by resources provided by the Northwestern University Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Center (P30AR075049), Chicago, IL with support from the NIH/NIAMS. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Northwestern University Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Center or the NIH/NIAMS."


SBDRC Home Page

Order from the SBDRC

Contacts & Locations

Ward, 303 E. Chicago, Office #: 9-132

Amy S. Paller, MS, MD  
Center Director

Robert M. Lavker, PhD  
Associate Center Director

Eskedar Alem  
Associate Department Administrator

Chernise Bailey-Turner  
Program Coordinator
(312) 503-4883

Tarry, 303 E. Superior Street, Lab #: 4-750, 4-754, Office #: 4-753

Kathleen J. Green, PhD  
Core Director

Bethany E. Perez White, PhD  
Associate Core Director

Ljuba Lyass, PhD  
Research Associate

Tarry, 303 E. Superior Street, Lab #: 4-750, 4-754

Carolin Le Poole PhD  
Core Director

Kurt Lu, MD  
Associate Director

Stephanie Rangel  

Tarry, 303 E. Superior Street, Lab #: 4-750, 4-754, Office #: 4-753

Irina Budunova, MD, PhD  
Core Director

Alex Yemelyanov, MD, PhD  
Associate Core Director

Pankaj Bhalla, PhD  
Research Associate